11 JUNE 2019
Vitra Eames Lounge Chair: a Design Icon
The Vitra Eames armchair is a great design classic, a project uniting history and innovation. Find out how it was born and discover its characteristics!
"Why don't we make an updated version of the old English armchair?" With this sentence Charles Eames gave life to the production process of the Eames Lounge chair. Let's go over its story together: the Vitra Eames Lounge Chair and the accompanying ottoman were both designed by the celebrated designer couple Charles and Ray Eames. The manufacturing process required several years of testing before reaching the desired result. The ambitious goal was to create a chair with ample proportions that combines maximum comfort with highest quality craft materials. The project respected all these intentions of the two designers, creating a true classic in the history of modern furniture and became the icon of revolving chairs.
Before its official launch, the new lounge chair appeared as a birthday present that the couple gave to their director friend Billy Wilder.
Instead, on an industrial scale, the first model was built in 1956, initially being produced by the American company Herman Miller. In the same year came the first public appearance of the Lounge chair, proposed on the NBC TV channel during the Arlene Francis Home show.
The Eames armchair became a true icon of interior design style in no time, so much so that it is placed in the permanent art collection of MOMA in New York as a model of one of the most significant pieces of furniture of the twentieth century.
Let's look now at the main features of the Vitra Eames armchair that have given it its classic status.
The armchair designed by Charles not only combines maximum comfort with precious materials and an artisanal workmanship, but, inspired by the classic English club chair, is lighter, more modern and refined. In addition to being even more comfortable!
This timeless design icon is now reproduced by Vitra following all the artisan standards to which the designers have given great attention during the realization of the project.
Currently the Vitra Eames armchair is available in two different sizes: classic or larger sizes. In fact, since the Lounge chair has entered the production chain (ie since 1956), the human height has increased by an average of almost 10 cm. This fact made it essential to bring improvements to the Eames armchair, which Vitra carried out jointly with the Eames office, working in collaboration with the latter. In this way, even the tallest people can enjoy the same comfort ideated by the creators for their contemporaries.
The composition of the Lounge chair is very simple and includes: wooden shells that act as a support base and a leather covering, all supported by an aluminum leg with five radial supports. The armrests and headrests are bolted to the central body, the latter in particular bending together with the backrest under the weight of the person who rests on it.
The padding of the headrest, backrest, seat, and pouf cushions is composed of a very comfortable polyurethane foam and a sterilized goose down.
Currently the base is available in 5 different wood types that vary on a scale from light wood to black. The wood look of the Vitra Eames Lounge Chair is one of the elements that most demonstrates the craftsmanship of the production. Thanks to the manual processing of the raw material, there are visible veins on the wooden shells that, in the case of buying the chair and pouf simultaneously, make the two products matched with each other and one of a kind (a feature that is difficult to reproduce in case of a separate order).
The base on the other hand is available in numerous finishes in brushed aluminum casting and with adjustable feet.
As for the covering, cooperating with the Eames office, Vitra has introduced new color combinations for the leather, coordinated with wood and support legs. In addition to a wide range of colors, it is also possible to choose the quality of the leather used. The leather upholstery is now available in 15 different colors (all the colors of Vitra's Eames armchair can be found in the Vitra Color & Material Library) that can be matched to the wood types or bases according to one's liking to create customized solutions suitable for each type of environment.
In the inspirations proposed here, we find a Vitra Eames Lounge Chair model with black leather upholstery and supporting structure in Santos Palisander. The armchair is combined with a pouf from the same collection, also of the same composition. The Eames Lounge Chair, placed over a leather rug, gives the environment a truly refined touch, making every space unique and comfortable. The Prismatic Table, by Isamu Noguchi, is placed next to the armchair, to complete the highly minimalist furnishing, which with its strong and marked lines helps to underline the softness of the Lounge Chair.
The Eames Lounge Chair can be used as a lounge chair both in urban environments and in country houses. The numerous variants made available by Vitra make it an extremely versatile piece of furniture. For example (as seen in the photo in the opening) brown leather upholstery and a light-colored walnut wood structure make this armchair perfect in combination with the warmth of the rustic parquet. In the same inspiration, we can find the Lounge Chair combined with a rocking version of the Eames Plastic Armchair with a black plastic frame and steel legs. To complete the furnishings of the living room, we find other Vitra design elements. Placed on the walls is the Wall Clocks clock, designed by George Nelson. On the wooden bookcase, we find the Wooden Dolls by Alexander Girard: simple and elegant furnishing objects that give a touch of color and design to our environments.
Eames Lounge Chair by Vitra: Prices
The Lounge Chair is available starting from 5090 euros (2019 price with VAT included).
The combined Eames Lounge Chair Ottoman is available starting from 6900 euros (2019 price with VAT included).
Come and visit us in our showroom in Corso Europa and ask our interior designers for advice on what solution is best for you!