Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Size, Scale, and Construction

The Eames House in Pacific Palisades stands as an epitome of Midcentury California design, an expression of modernity and optimism that many still emulate today. Said Bill Stern, founder of the California Museum of Design: "The Eames House eschewed traditional materials like bricks and sticks, and used glass and steel in fresh ways to create a new understanding of how people can live."

The Eames House, completed in 1949, consists of two double-height buildings, one for residential living and the other for work. In all, the site encompasses roughly 1.4 acres and the two rectangular volumes accounting for roughly 3000 square feet. Each bay rises 17 feet and is framed by two rows of 4-inch H-columns set 20 feet apart. In the residential building, kitchen and dining areas are located in the lower story while more private spaces are on the second floor; which provides a view down at the double-height living area. Similarly, the studio portion of the Eames House also features an open plan. Like the residential area, the studio is divided into two stories with the upper floor overlooking a double-height space.

Charles and Ray Eames nurtured a design imagination that knew few boundaries, but if you were to look for its center — its heart — you might have found it in their living room. With its 17-foot-high ceiling, panels of glass opening to a grove of eucalyptus, and a vast range of objects collected over a lifetime, the Eames House living room is where two of the most influential designers of the 20th century spent hours talking, entertaining friends and playing with the collections that informed their work.
The Eames House living room, in all of its 17-foot-height glory
Night view of the studio and residential space

As a result of its modular design, the Eames House utilized economical and efficient materials. The foundation of the house was built from concrete, the roof from ashphalt, the frame from steel, and the walls from a mixture of materials including: glass, stucco, wood, asbestos, metal, and synthetics. On the rear elevation of the house, the vertical members of the frame were partially embedded in the 8-foot high concrete retaining wall while steel decking formed the underside of the roof; perpendicular to the frame. The Eames chose to paint the steel frame black to help delineate the rhythm of their structural composition as well as to separate the two volumes that make up the house. Between the two volumes lie an open patio space, acting as an open court while another outdoor space lies underneath the southern overhang of the residence. 



1 comment:

  1. Wonderful size, scale and construction.The Eames house room picture is great i love the room.Really nice room.
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