Architect and author George Larson was born in East Lansing Michigan in June of 1935, and grew up in Detroit. In his early teens, he discovered Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills and was enthralled by the work of Eiliel Saarinen, who designed the site of Cranbrook, including major buildings, the architecture, furniture, lighting, and the carpets and textiles.
At the age of 17, while visiting family in Chicago, he drove by a building that would change my life: 860 Lake Shore Drive, designed by Mies van der Rohe in 1951. It was at that moment he decided on a career of architecture and design. Larson began his career at Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill in the late 50’s through the early 60’s, and in 1978, he founded Larson Associates with Susan Larson, specializing in commercial and residential architectural interiors. Over the next two decades, the firm grew from 3 to over 40 employees. Their first major commercial project was Sara Lees’s corporate headquarters. Many other similar projects followed, including John Nuveen, Northern Trust Bank, General Motor Corporation, and Ford Motor Corporation.
Architectural residential projects included many private homes on the North Shore, apartments on the Gold Coast, a residential project in Jakarta, Indonesia; and the architectural interiors of a yacht for Feadship-DeVeies in Amsterdam. Since they designed most of the furniture for these projects, a line of furniture was introduced by Holly Hunt Chicago. In 2003, Larson moved to New York, where he was architectural design consultant for several historic buildings and their interiors. Larson’s years in New York were a period of spiritual growth, but he was anxious to return to his architectural roots and returned to Chicago in 2011. He is currently working on a new book entitled “Spirituality in Architecture,” which is also a life-long pursuit for Larson.