Eames House (Case Study House #8)


The Eames House, Case Study House #8, was one of roughly two dozen homes built as part of The Case Study House Program. Begun in the mid-1940s and continuing through the early 1960s, the program was spearheaded by John Entenza, the publisher of Arts and Architecture magazine. Charles and Ray then set themselves a new problem: How to build a house that would: 1) not destroy the meadow and, 2) “maximize volume from minimal materials”. Using the same off-the-shelf parts, but notably ordering one extra steel beam, Charles and Ray re-configured the House. The new design integrated the House into the landscape, rather than imposing the House on it. These plans were published in the May 1949 of the magazine. It is this design that was built and is seen today. The first plan of the Eameses` home, known as the Bridge House, was designed in 1945 by Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen. The design used pre-fabricated materials ordered from catalogues, a continuation of the idea of mass-production. The parts were ordered and the Bridge House design was published in the December 1945 issue of the magazine, but due to a war-driven shortage, the steel did not arrive until late 1948. By then, Charles and Ray had “fallen in love with the meadow,” in Ray`s words, and felt that the site required a different solution. Charles and Ray moved into the House on Christmas Eve, 1949, and lived there for the rest of their lives. The interior, its objects and its collections remain very much the way they were in Charles and Ray`s lifetimes. The house they created offered them a space where work, play, life, and nature co-existed.

Constructed, 1949