The Eames House (also known as Case Study House No. 8)
is a landmark of mid-20th century modern architecture, located on 203 Chautauqua Boulevard in Los Angeles' Pacific Palisades neighborhood. It was built in 1949, by design pioneers Charles and Ray Eames, husband and wife, to serve as home and studio. It is now a historical museum of the house run by the Eames Foundation, was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2006.
A site of almost 6 thousand square meters near the coast in Pacific Palisades, on a wooded promontory that was once part of the great estate of Will Rogers, was chosen by the Eameses for their home. The project was first designed by Charles Eames with fellow architect Eero Saarinen in 1945 as a steel box and raised glass that jutted out of the slope and crossed the driveway before jutting out onto the front yard. The structure had to be built entirely with "available" parts in the steel manufacturer's catalogs. Immediately after the war, however, these parts were very scarce. By the time the materials arrived three years later, it had taken a long time to reflect between a picnic and an exploration of the whole lot where the house was to be built.
After a period of intense collaboration between Charles and Ray, the scheme was radically changed towards a solution that included placing the ground gently on the ground avoiding the overhang on the pleasant lawn that faced the house.
Eames House of Eames Studio
The new design of the house fits into the slope with a concrete support wall 2.4 m long and 60 m long on the uphill side.
A mezzanine floor was added, making use of a prefabricated spiral staircase that was to be the lower entrance. The upper level contains the bedrooms and overlooks the double-height living room. A courtyard has also been introduced, which separates the residence from the study space. The 5.1 m high facade is divided into a rigidly geometric composition, the Mondrian, brightly colored panels between thin steel columns and braces, painted black. The front door is marked above by a gold leaf panel. An existing row of eucalyptus trees has been preserved along the exposed wall of the house, providing some nuances and a visual contrast to the bold facade of the house. As for the interior design, the Eames collection includes, among others, Isamu Noguchi floor lamps, Japanese kokeshi dolls, Chinese lacquered cushions, a native American basket full of braided grass stems.
Of the twenty-five Case Study Houses built, the Eames house is considered the most successful both as an architectural solution and as a space to live in a comfortable and functional way. The brazen brilliance of the design made it a highly valued backdrop for fashion services in the 1950s and 1960s. Perhaps the proof of his success in fulfilling his program is the fact that he remained at the center of Eames' life and work from the moment they moved (Christmas Eve, 1949) to their death.
Eames House is an outstanding architectural example of the influence of the De Stijl movement outside Europe. The sliding walls and windows give the brand the versatility and openness of the De Stijl movement.
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