In the mid-1940’s Arts and Architecture magazine announced they would be the clients for a series of architect designed homes. These homes were to be constructed and furnished using materials and processes derived from technology acquired from WWII, and were to express thematically, life in the modern world. Each home the magazine contracted would be designed for a real or hypothetical client and the architects were to take into consideration the client’s particular housing needs. Each house would serve as a case study of these needs.
Charles and Ray Eames proposed as their Case Study, well, a home for themselves. They proposed a home that would be for a married couple who were normally apartment dwellers, worked in design and graphic arts, and who wanted a home that would make no demands for itself, but would, instead serve as a background for “life in work with nature as a shock absorber.”
After their initial plan, designed in conjunction with Eero Saarinen, fell through due to delays in material, Charles and Ray took to the idea of developing a home in a location they had fallen in love with and had nicknamed “the meadow.” Their love of the site caused them to explore a different approach. While still incorporating their initial set of needs, they decided to consider how to build a house with maximized volume with the same elements and not destroy the meadow.
Using the same parts they had ordered for their first design (with only the addition of one pole), they began building “Case Study No. 8″ in 1949, and moved in on Christmas Eve of that same year. Of the twenty-five Case Study Houses built, the Eames house is considered the most successful both as an architectural statement and as a comfortable, functional living space. Perhaps the greatest testament to its success is that it served as their home – a space where work, play, life, and nature co-existed until Charles’ death in 1978, and subsequently as Ray’s place of solace until her death in 1988, 10 years to the day after Charles’.