Eames Walnut Stool

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When Ray Eames was asked to design furniture pieces for the Time-Life Building at Rockefeller Center in 1960, little did she know that the assignment would lead to the birth of one of her favorite pieces. When the iconic NYC building was built, it was the largest slab-formed concrete building in the city and held an ultra-modern lobby that became famous for its large murals by Josef Albers and Fritz Glarner. Her husband Charles had already designed the Eames Executive Chairs which would accompany her pieces in the lobby. She turned to her training in sculpture and ended up using a lathe to sculpt a variety of experimental shapes. After narrowing it down to her favorites, she ended up with three silhouettes of solid walnut that could be used as either tables or seats—and that could be flipped to be used on either side. Besides becoming well-known additions to the memorable lobby, she ended up using them throughout their Los Angeles home. Today, Herman Miller produces the stools out of solid walnut in the U.S.A.

Photo: Shai Gil