I visited the Eames House today as part of a tour through The Furniture Society’s 2013 Symposium. This house is Case Study House #8–one of nearly 24 homes built as part of a program spearheaded by John Entenza, the publisher of Arts and Architecture magazine. The Case Study House program challenged architects to create homes for the magazine as a way to “express man’s life in the modern world”. The designers used materials and techniques derived from the experiences of the Second World War, and they aimed to meet the housing needs of real or hypothetical clients.
The Eames’ house was designed to be a space for a couple with no children who worked in design. They wanted a home that would “make no demands for itself” and would serve as a background for “life in work” with nature as a “shock absorber”. With a beautiful meadow, rows of eucalyptus trees and views of the Pacific Ocean, I certainly think the space accomplished Eames’ vision.
The design brief for Case Study House #8 was published in the December 1945 issue of Arts and Architecture.
I loved the attention to detail that went into every object in and around the home, including the lovely knots and appealing proportions of the tree swing in the meadow. Eames believed that everything, from a movie to a house to a piece of furniture, should have a concept. I like this idea, and I’m going to try to incorporate this approach into my work in the wood shop.