Gunnar Birkerts: Metaphoric Modernist
Latvian-born architect Gunnar Birkerts belongs to the second wave of modernists who arrived in the United States from abroad, a group that includes ... Show synopsis Latvian-born architect Gunnar Birkerts belongs to the second wave of modernists who arrived in the United States from abroad, a group that includes Kevin Roche and Cesar Pelli among others. Educated at the Technische Hochschule in Stuttgart, Birkerts worked first with Eero Saarinen in his now-legendary office in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and later was chief designer for Minoru Yamasaki. At that time both Saarinen and Yamasaki were developing their distinctive architectural signatures and building their international renown. Subsequently Birkerts established his own practice, evolving a design process and a philosophy with its own original profile. Birkerts' designs, from the Federal Reserve Bank in Minneapolis to the Corning Museum of Glass to the Houston Arts Museum and recently the Latvian National Library, shows him exploring with ever greater resource and inventiveness the expressive possibilities of symbol and metaphor.