Case Study House #8: The Eames House
203 Chautauqua Boulevard

Pacific Palisades

California 90272

USA


Charles & Ray Eames 1945-1949


The renowned Eames House, or Case Study House #8, is one of 36 houses that were designed as part of the Case Study House program introduced by “Arts & Architecture” magazine in 1945. The house is in a meadow atop a 50-meter cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean in the Southern Californian City of Pacific Palisades. The original three-acre property, now divided in two separate lots, used to contain two houses on the same lot, sited 65 meters apart. The other house known as CSH#9 was designed by Eero Saarinen and owned by “Arts & Architecture” editor John Entenza, a good friend of the Eames when the houses were built.

 


The Eames house was first designed jointly by Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen but later was substantially modified by the owner/designer, husband-and-wife team of Charles & Ray Eames. The built house consists of two adjacent structures, one used as a living space and the other as studio/workshop space. Both pavilion-like structures were built between a row of existing eucalyptus trees and a new, 3-meter high, 65-meter long, concrete retaining wall parallel to the meadow. By locating the house between the trees and the wall, the Eames maintained the totality of the meadow untouched. Charles and Ray had “fallen in love with the meadow” in Ray’s words, soon after acquiring this piece of property and wanted to preserve its natural beauty.

 


The buildings’ frames consist of steel H-columns and steel open-web bar joists with some diagonal bracing made of tension rods and turnbuckles. The idea of using affordable industrial materials responded to the Eames’ wish of creating a light and open space with very thin walls, floor and roof. The resulting lightness has been compared by architectural historians to traditional Japanese architecture.

 

 

Both structures, house and studio, contain upstairs lofts with bedrooms and storage areas. As architectural historian and author Gloria Koenig states, “The two structures and the connecting court between established a synergetic background for the Eames’ unique lifestyle.”

 

 

 

Rafael Cazorla 2010

 


How to visit

 

The Eames House is located at 203 Chautauqua Boulevard in Pacific Palisades, a suburb of Los Angeles on the coast in California. There is no parking at the Eames House. Free street parking is available on Corona Del Mar, a 5-minute walk away.


The House has been the home of the Eames Foundation since 2004. The grounds of the house are open by appointment: Mondays-Fridays 10am to 4pm and Saturdays 10am to 3pm, closed Sundays and Holidays. For appointments, drividing directions and other information please visit www.eamesfoundation.org or call +1 310 459 9663 (at least two days before your visit).

 

 

 

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