Eames Lounge Chair (1956)

The Eames Lounge Chair & Ottoman were designed byCharles and Ray Eamesin 1956 for the Herman Miller furniture company. It was the first chair that the Eameses designed for a high-end market, characterized by an elegant and futuristic plywood and leather composition.

Eames Lounge Chair (1956).
Eames Lounge Chair (1956)

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The Origin of the Eames Lounge Chair & Ottoman

TheEames Lounge Chair and Ottomanhave their origin inCharles and Ray’s investigations intomolding plywoodand a desire to improve upon a familiar fixture in many living rooms: thelounge chair. Citing as inspiration theEnglish Club Chair– a type of armchair, usually covered in leather – Charles said he sought to design a modern version of that chair, one that had “the warm receptive look of a well-used first baseman’s mitt.”

The Eames Lounge Chair& Ottoman by Charles and Ray Eames.
The Eames Lounge Chair& Ottoman by Charles and Ray Eames, 1956.

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Almost immediately, the chair and ottoman became anicon of American design. Today, these pieces not only live in museums, for instance as part of thepermanent collection of New York’s MoMAbut continue to offer comfort and style to interiors everywhere in the world.

Charles and Ray Eames
Charles and Ray Eames

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A New Take on the 19th Century Club Chair

When the set was introduced in1956, there was nothing like it, and there is still nothing to equal it. The Eameses’modern take on a nineteenth-century club chairhas not only endured for more than 50 years, but it has also becomeone of the most significant furniture designs of the twentieth century—instantly recognizable and enduringly fresh. Since its introduction, the Eames Chair & Ottoman had such anincredible outcomethat it has been in continuous production byHerman Millerin America. Not much later,Vitrabegan producing the chair for the European market making it a great success overseas as well.

The details are not the details. They make the design.

Ray and Eames

Charles & Ray Eames. The Power of Design.
Charles & Ray Eames. The Power of Design

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Which are the Materials of the Eames Lounge Chair & Ottoman?

Both the chair and ottoman arehand-assembledwith great attention paid to even the smallest details. Shells are7-ply veneers, cushions are individually upholstered and replaceable and the back braces and bases—of both the chair and ottoman—aredie-cast aluminum.

The chair base has abuilt-in swivel mechanismwhile theshock mountsare made ofresilient natural rubber. Finally, thestainless steel glidesare adjustable for maximum comfort.

The Ergonomics of the Eames Lounge Chair & Ottoman

The chair is composed ofthree curved plywood shells: theheadrest,the backrest, and theseat. In early production, beginning in 1956 and running through the very early 1990s, the shells were made up of five thin layers of plywood which were covered by aveneer of Brazilian rosewoodbut the process was then dismissed in favor of a simpler one.
The seat ispermanently tiltedto take the weight off the lower spine and distribute it properly to the back of the chair. Thelower cushion piecesupports the customer lower back, so they feel relaxed. The angle supports a person’s chest so thatthe seating is more comfortableas one reads, watches a movie, or has a conversation.

Theottomanalso provides ahealth benefitfor the user. Most of the people sit or stand all day, so blood collects in the lower extremities. Resting the feet on the ottoman helps restore normal blood circulation.

The Eames Lounge Chair& Ottoman.
The Eames Lounge Chair& Ottoman

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An Iconic Design Made to Last in Time

The chair and ottomanget better with agebecause of how they are made.
The structure, for example, will remain compact – asinnovative hardwaresolidly fastens the cushions to the shell – andthe cushions will not flattenor clump over time. As Charles Eames described them, “the leather cushions do have built-in wrinkles to start with, but that is a clue that spells comfort to come, like the warm, receptive look of a well-used first baseman’s mitt”.

Each hide used for the cushions possessesvariations that are a natural occurrence in leather, and each will age to reveal its ownunique personality.

The Eames Lounge Chair & Ottoman.
The Eames Lounge Chair& Ottoman

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Provide Additional Choices: the Eames Lounge Chair & Ottoman Versions

To provide additional choices forcomplementing a range of interiors, the chair and ottoman are offered inebony-stainedorwhite ash veneer shells.

The ebonized version is available with a choice ofblack MCL Leatherorone of several Mohair colors. The metal components of the white ash chair arefinished in white to highlight the polished aluminum accentson the base.
Today, the chair and ottoman are available intwo sizes, avariety of veneers, and achoice of leather upholsteryoptions or Mohair Supreme, a plush, 100 percent Mohair textile. The same high level of quality and workmanship is guaranteed, regardless of the selection made.

Data Sheet

  • Designers:Charles and Ray Eames;
  • Original production date:1956;
  • Manufacturers:赫尔曼米勒,维特拉;
  • Materials:molded plywood (walnut or rosewood veneers), cast aluminum, black leather-covered latex foam and down upholstery, rubber;
  • Dimensions:整体(椅):83.8 x 83.8 x 83.8厘米(33 x 33 x33 in.); overall (ottoman): 44.5 x 66 x 54.6 cm (17 1/2 x 26 x 21 1/2 in.).

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