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Eero Saarinen and Aline Louchheim’s Shared Ambition


As Eero Saarinen struggled to maintain his relationship with his wife, his relationship with Aline Louchheim and their shared professional ambition bloomed.


I always resented my father for literally abandoning my mother, my sister and me, but I never saw it from his point of view. My mom was depressed, and she was kind of left alone because he was obsessed by his work, and the marriage went south.

Meanwhile Aline understood my father's work and embraced it.

If you and Lily were to separate tomorrow and by some miracle everything would go smoothly, I would still not take it as an indication that you would marry me. I'd be very seriously heartbroken, but I don't want you to feel obligated or trapped.

You don't realize that I'm like a turnip or a potato - one of those plants that have stored up below ground a tremendous amount of lust for a full-blooming life.

In my first marriage, all those things laid dormant hoping that someday a situation would come where this, my new real life, could begin.

Won't it be nice when all this is settled and you can get back to being an architect and to designing, and I can write you about ideas instead of legal clauses.

Aline represented the same kind of ambition he had. She's very much right there as his career as a solo architect takes off. She positions him in the very first article for this whole explosion and boom in his career is going to be.


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