Charles and Ray Eames, Santa Monica House, Pacific Palisades, 1949

Charles and Ray Eames, Santa Monica House, Pacific Palisades, 1949

Charles and Ray Eames, Santa Monica House, Pacific Palisades, 1949

About the Architect :

Charles Ormond Eames, Jr (1907–1978) and Bernice Alexandra “Ray” (née KaiserEames (1912–1988) /ˈmz/ were husband and wife American designers who made significant historical contributions to the development of modern architecture and furniture. Among their most well-known designs is the Eames Lounge Chair. They also worked in the fields of industrial and graphic design, fine art and film.

About the House :

It was constructed by the design pioneers Charles and Ray Eames to serve as their resiential home. Unusual for such an avant-garde design, it was a thoroughly lived-in, usable, and well-loved home.

It was a space designed for work and living coexistance based on this modern view of dehumanised designed, where privacy took place in a second point of view. It was initially drawn as a raised steel and glass box projecting out of the slope and spanning the entrance drive before cantilevering dramatically over the front yard.

Constructed in two floors, which were both one room based and space wide, hypothesizing a modern household to elaborate its functional requirements. It was built by using modern materials and construction processes, such as glass, which invited the combination in harmony of exterior and interior and limiting privacy, or the use of prefabricated modules. It also used a prefabricated spiral stair that connected the floors, being the upper level the one that  holds the bedrooms and overlooks the double-height living room.

It’s open spaced floors, where the only obstacles found where those of furniture and basic needs to store, cook, etc, made the home unpersonal but, at the the same time easy to live in, by addig the stuff and personal belongings. A courtyard was also introduced, separating the residence from the studio space.

It’s outer structure, made of what seem modules which divide the residence into a combination of blocks, delimit the interior space but, at the same time allows the exterior, in form of intense natural lighting, to coexist and interact with the day to day life and work.

Reference :

  • Caplan, Ralph, “Connections: the work of Charles and Ray Eames”. Los Angeles: UCLA, 1976.


Reviewed by Esteve P.