USA, c. 1950
Charles and Ray Eames
Gelatin silver prints
14½ × 16½”
The first plan of the Eameses’ home, known as the Bridge House, was designed in 1945 by Charles and Eero Saarinen. The design used pre-fabricated materials ordered from industrial and commercial catalogs. The parts were ordered and the Bridge House design was published in the December 1945 issue of the magazine, however, due to a war-driven shortage, the steel did not arrive until late 1948. By then, according to Ray, she and Charles had “fallen in love with the meadow,” and felt that the site required a different solution.
Charles and Ray then set themselves a new problem: How to build a house that would not destroy the meadow and that would “maximize volume from minimal materials.” Using the same off-the-shelf parts, but notably ordering one extra steel beam, Charles and Ray reconfigured the house’s design into a double-story two-structure residence and studio. They integrated the new design into the landscape’s north-south hillside, rather than imposing the structure on it. Construction began in February of 1949, the foundation and steel frame was completed in 16 hours, and the remainder of the modular home was finished by December.
They moved into the House on Christmas Eve, 1949, and lived there for the rest of their lives. The interior, its objects, and its collections remain very much the way they were in Charles and Ray’s lifetimes. The house they created offered them a space where work, play, life, and nature co-existed. —Eames Office
These photographs are from a collection of works printed for a German publication.