June 05, 2013

Photo Essay: Eames House & Meadow

When Charles and Ray Eames lived in the house they built in Pacific Palisades...

...a house they moved into on Christmas Eve, 1949...

...their children had grown and moved away from home.

But they always had these picnics on their meadow...

...a meadow they fought hard to preserve in designing their house... as to integrate the house into the landscape, rather than destroying it.

When you're outside of the house, you feel a bit like you're inside...

...and, presumably, when you're inside... feel a bit like you're on the outside.

The Eames House itself - otherwise known as Case Study House #8 - is actually two structures...

...separated by a central courtyard...

...which one might consider its own "room" in the house.

Although it costs hundreds of dollars to tour the inside, and photographing the interior through the windows is verboten...

...there are signs of the characteristic Eames style of interior design, even on the outside.

And there is plenty of nature, too.

The grandson of Charles and Ray, Eames Demetrios, is now in charge of the Eames Foundation...

...but he says it wasn't until his art school curriculum taught the Eames House that, to him, this was anything more than just his grandparents' house.

Although part of the Case Study House program, the Eames House was built to be lived in.

Toys remain frozen in time on the grounds.

A swing has swung over a tree branch, still roped in tightly.

For my first visit to the Eames House, I chose to picnic on that meadow.

And sit in an Eames chair.

Eames family members still occasionally stay in the house, which is actually open for tours and private picnics (if you can afford them). Self-guided tours of the grounds are available by appointment only.

Last year, the house's furnishings were loaned to LACMA, who reproduced the Eames House interior in their museum for Pacific Standard Time (which I got to see). Now, most of the items have returned, so it's a good time to visit to see them in their native environment.

For once, though, I wasn't dying to get inside. I was happy to remain outside, tucked away, a stone's throw from the beach, the sun coming out as the morning haze burned off.

Related Post:
Photo Essay: A Venice Without Canals

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