Me, a million years ago at the Eames House
I hope that Monday’s post gave you some context about why the Eames House is such an important part of Los Angeles’ cultural landscape. I love taking my friends here who love architecture, mid-century, and good design. The Eames house is a marvel in making due with what you have and testing the limits of what an object can do.
The Case Study house program, which the Eames House is part of, was ahead of its time in many ways. The Case Study idea came from a group editors at Art and Architecture Magazine who posed a question on how to produce homes cheaply and quickly for the projected population growth coming from the end of WWII. One of the criteria was using materials that were readily available during the war. (Think the 3 Rs-Recycle/Reuse/Restore) The Case Study question was brought to several architects and designers that now read like a who’s who of the Mid-Century aesthetic: Richard Nuetra, Eero Saarinen, Pierre Koenig, Craig Ellwood, to name a few. In all, 36 houses were envisioned. Many of these houses were never built or sadly demolished. Luckily for us here in Los Angeles two of these homes are on tour to the public including Case Study #8 build by Charles and Ray Eames.
Although their names may not be familiar to you but I assure you that you have seen their work copied again and again by places like Design Within Reach, West Elm, etc. In addition to being architects of #8, this husband and wife team designed all the furniture and other interior pieces featured in the home. All the Eames designs are both aesthetic and functional.
The Eameses were purveyors of the guest/host relationship. What you notice about Case Study #8, which ended up being their home, is that the house is separated into two buildings made from sections of shipping containers. A working space that served as their design studio and another that served as the living space. The home was designed so that it has a natural flow and puts guests first in the kitchen, continues to the dining, and finishes in the living room, with a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean. This house was definitely planned with dinner parties in mind. The house with floor to ceiling windows really showcases the nature surrounding the property, the meadow outside lined with milkweed attracts Monarch butterflies that flit around the property, tall eucalyptus trees that peel their skin revealing new colors, and Catalina Island looming in the distance.
Case Study #8 is run by The Eames Foundation who offer tours of the home. One is a self guided walking tour of the exterior and the other an interior tour, which is new since my visit. All of the interiors, furniture, wall hanging and carpets have been recently been restored.
When: By appointment, closed on Wednesdays and Sundays
Cost: $10- interior tour may be more
Driving: Just an FYI that although the directions to the place are good, please note that this area stradles two cities-one side of the street is Vance while the other is Corona Del Mar, a helpful hint since there is no place to turn around once you have missed the street.
By Public Transit: Los Angeles Metro busses 2 and 302.]
NEXT UP….ITINERARY BUILDING A LA PINTEREST