houses

Modernist Icon: The Eames House Turns 70

World-famous for its Mid-Century Modernist design, the Eames House in California's Pacific Palisades is celebrating its 70th birthday.

Paul Hanaoka/Unsplash, Supplied
Eames House | House and Leisure
Designed by Charles and Ray Eames, the Eames House is instantly recognisable to design aficionados around the world.
 

Renowned the world over as the home that industrial designers Charles and Ray Eames designed for themselves, Eames House in the Pacific Palisades, California, is celebrating its 70th birthday this year.

The house is situated in a grove of eucalyptus trees, and was given National Landmark status in the USA in 2007. 

It's also well known as the location where some of the designers' most popular pieces of furniture were created – including the perenially stylish Eames lounge chair and ottoman, which the design duo originally created in 1956.

The house was designed as part of a programme envisioned by Arts and Architecture Magazine, the focus of which was to create a structure that represented modern living, while also using materials and techniques that had emerged during the Second World War. 

ALSO READ: Collector's Edition: The Epitome of Mid-Century Modern Design 

The interiors of the house also executed the aims of the project, but in the end went far beyond its ambit, as Eames House become a haven for treasured pieces created by the phenomenally talented Eameses.

With a geometric steel-framed stucture that merges functionalism and natural beauty in a striking manner, the home is renowned as one of the world's most cherished houses. 

Eames House | House and Leisure
The special-edition Eames Low Table Rod (LTR) sidetable.
 

In an effort to maintain the house and property, the Eames Foundation and Getty Conservation Institute have established the Getty Conservation Management Plan. This is a 250-year project that will ensure the sustainability of the Eames House over the long term.

In 2019, as part of the plan, more than 200 eucalyptus trees were harvested from the surrounding forest for maintenance purposes.

The wood collected from the harvest has been used to create a limited-edition of the simple, sleek Eames Low Table Rod (LTR) table, which features a solid wood table top made from these trees. 

Herman Miller, the globally renowned maker of furnishings and related items, and Vitra, a Swiss family-owned furniture company, have collaborated on the project and had the following to say about the use of the eucalyptus wood.

'[Charles and Ray Eames] would have appreciated this inventive use of the trees that surround their home. They valued them so much that they designed the site of the Eames House with trees' protection in mind, and even finished their living room wall with eucalyptus wood.' 

Eames House | House and Leisure
The special-edition Eames Low Table Rod (LTR) sidetable, photographed among the original furniture pieces in the Eames House.
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Visitors are permitted to walk through the house or view the property by appointment only, so if you ever want to visit, make sure you do so via the Eames Foundation

Furniture designs by Charles and Ray Eames can be purchased in South Africa from All Office – including the Eames lounge chair and ottoman, among others. 

A video walkthrough of the Eames House: