DATE - 1939

The Kleinhans Music Hall in Buffalo, NY, was designed in 1939 by Eliel and Eero Saarinen along with architects F. J. and W. A. Kidd. In 1989, the hall was designed a National Historic Landmark, the highest designation of significance a site or structure can receive. 

Additional Information

Eero Saarinen and his best friend, Charles Eames, co-designed the seating for this auditorium. The following account of this work is detailed in An Eames Primer.

“They determined the single striking curve for the seat by doing some research, using dowels to ascertain the shape of the human bottom and to find the curve for most comfortable support. Although these chairs were not mass-produced for the consumer market, one can see the possibility inherent in the design. The Kleinhans chair represents an important point in Charles’ career because it is the first expression of his notion of wringing a solution from a single piece of material–a single shell chair. From a materials standpoint, however, it was still essentially a curved slab design in the vein of the chairs of Alvar Aalto. The chairs were installed and well received. They had been manufactured in a modest quantity, but because it was a small run, the manufacture was essentially custom manufacture in volume.”

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