Inside the Eames House


Designers Charles and Ray Eames built a beautiful house in Los Angeles. They moved in on Christmas Eve 1949, and lived there for the rest of their lives. They called it Case Study House No. 8 (it was one of many "Case Study" houses designed by prominent architects and designers), but it's better known simply as the Eames House. It was built as a place for work, life, and play, and to me it epitomizes the mid-century modern aesthetic that permeated so many of the homes I've lived in. According to Wikipedia (emphasis added):

The idea of a Case Study house was to hypothesize a modern household, elaborate its functional requirements, have an esteemed architect develop a design that met those requirements using modern materials and construction processes, and then to actually build the home. The houses were documented before, during and after construction for publication in Arts & Architecture. The Eames' proposal reflected their own household and their own needs; a married couple wanting a place to live, work and entertain in one undemanding setting in harmony with the site.

House: After Five Years of Living

Five years into living in their house, Charles and Ray made a film (actually more of a slideshow) revealing glimpses of the house, and they got Elmer Bernstein to write and perform the score (!). The film feels to me like one of Lost's Dharma Initiative training films.

Inside the Eames House

This amateur video (shot on Hi-8, complete with some tracking problems) shows the inside of the house at some point much later on, I'm guessing the mid 1990s. It's interesting to see how much of the same stuff is still there in the house. I particularly enjoyed the magazine rack (around 2 minutes in) and a tour of the bookshelves (starting around 7:35).

For more on the history of the house and its construction, read this article from the Eames Foundation.

More of This

See also: Charles and Ray Eames Explain the Polaroid SX-70 and Powers of Ten. If you want to see more Eames films, there's a remarkable DVD boxed set with five and a half hours worth of Eamesy goodness.