Monument: Earl v. Moore School of Music
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
Architect: Eero Saarinen
Eero Saarinen, one of America’s preeminent modern architects, is universally lauded for his ability to combine modernist principles of rationality and function with more playful organic aesthetics.
After being commissioned in 1951 to design the master plan for the University of Michigan’s North Campus, Saarinen chose to design the School of Music to be located there. Visually removed from the Architecture and Engineering schools and enveloped by a forested grove with a pond in front, the building develops a picturesque quality as heavy masses, clad in brick both inside and out, peek out from clusters of greenery. While at first glance the Music School has a tenuous formal relationship to more sinuous projects such as the TWA terminal or the St. Louis Arch, its brutalist adherence to solid form, geometry, and repetition alludes to the sculptural qualities that help define the hallmark of Saarinen’s oeuvre.
Eero Saarinen died in Ann Arbor while undergoing a brain tumor operation at the age of 51, three years before completion of the project.