Architectural Treasure in the Pacific Palisades: The Eames House

The Eames Home, also known as Case Study #8, is a landmark of midcentury architecture. It was designed by residential architects Charles and Ray Eames, who were a husband and wife team instrumental in creating the Midcentury Modern style.

 Charles (right) and Ray Eames. Photo via  PBS .

Charles (right) and Ray Eames. Photo via PBS.

The Case Study houses were created to experiment with residential design and find an inexpensive, efficient, and architecturally pleasing single family home design for soldiers returning from World War II. Case Study homes were designed by a number of prominent architects, including Richard Neutra, Raphael Soriano, and Eero Saarinen.

The house is located on a 1.4 acre lot in Pacific Palisades, in a beautiful wooded bluff along the sea. The original design of the house envisioned a raised box dramatically spanning the lot and cantilevering over the meadow in the front yard. In line with other Case Houses, the Eames House was supposed to be built from pre-constructed parts from a steel fabricator. However, steel shortages after the war delayed the shipment for three years. During that time Charles and Ray fell in love with the front meadow, and redesigned the house to sit along the ridge line in order to preserve the meadow.

 Rendering of the new design, showing the main house and studio. Photo from  Wikimedia Commons.

Rendering of the new design, showing the main house and studio. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

The new design built the house into the slope opposite the meadow. Other changes include the addition of a mezzanine level with bedrooms overlooking the double-height living room and a courtyard separating the studio from the main house. You can see the original 1946 photos of the house here - including construction photos if those interest you.

 View of the Eames House showing part of the preserved meadow and Eucalyptus trees. Photo via  Wikimedia Commons .

View of the Eames House showing part of the preserved meadow and Eucalyptus trees. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

Residential design in Pacific Palisades had never seen a house like Case Study #8. The Eames house is largely considered one of the most successful Case Studies houses - it is both an architectural statement and a functional living space. The Eames lived in it until their death, a testament to the house’s functionality and success.

 The interiors of the Eames house have remained largely untouched since Charles and Ray’s death. Photo via  We Are Scout .

The interiors of the Eames house have remained largely untouched since Charles and Ray’s death. Photo via We Are Scout.

The Eames House has been operated by a foundation since 2004. In 2006 the house was designated a National Historic Landmark.