Monday, April 18, 2011

BP 13-Gateway Arch

Gateway Arch to Westward Expansion

Eero Saarinen designed the famous Gateway Arch in St.Louis, MS that currently blankets the sky with its enormity. To this day, it still remains the tallest man-made monument in the United States after almost 50 years. As a marker for the growth of westward expansion in the U.S., the Gateway Arch serves as a symbol AND architectural phenomenon for all to see. It flocks over the city of St.Louis, specifically over the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. With Saarinen being the initiator of this project, America was exposed immediately to his work and talent. Such a large feat this monument was that the U.S. could only be inspired by his immaculate work on the Gateway Arch. At this time, skyscrapers were still being mastered through trial and error. Watching Saarinen use techniques and design from Finland and Switzerland exposed America to a different style of architecture. Since he was the son of Eliel Saarinen, he also got to incorporate his father's acclaimed designs as well into the Gateway Arch.

Scandinavian culture is much different than American culture, which automatically means their architecture will be dissimilar as well. Learning from other countries is essential when creating new ideas and concepts. We can learn from them what has worked and what has not. The arch in St.Louis is such an icon now not just for St. Louis, but for all of America. It symbolizes growth and expansion throughout North America. It weighs symbolically on America as a nation. To me it is almost welcoming everyone in the most uncanny way. I feel that America would be missing out on a symbol if it weren't for Saarinen's inspiration to communicate the U.S.'s expansion at that time.

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