Eames La Chaise

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Though Charles and Ray Eames’ La Chaise was never produced during their lifetime, its story began when they developed it for the 1948 International Competition for Low-Cost Furniture Design at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. They were inspired by Gaston Lachaise’s Floating Figure sculpture and turned to technological advances in molding fiberglass to create free-form, flexible shells. However, because of high production costs, the chair never made it to the market—until Vitra began manufacturing and distributing it in 1996. Interestingly enough, the armchair version they created for the competition ended up winning a prize and being quickly produced. Today, the shell seat comes exclusively in a white lacquer finish, while the base is made with chrome-plated tubular steel and solid natural oak with a protective natural lacquer finish.

Photo: Michael Graydon and Nikole Herriott

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