The Lounge Chair by Charles and Ray Eames is one of the great furniture designs of the twentieth century. Offering ultimate comfort, this elegant chair has been produced by Vitra since the 1950s using virtually the same production techniques and high-quality materials. The Lounge Chair comes in two sizes and various combinations of leather upholstery covers, wooden shells and bases.
Why don't we make an updated version of the old English club chair?' With this comment, Charles Eames initiated the development of the Lounge Chair, a process that took several years.The aim was to satisfy the desire for an amply proportioned chair that combined ultimate comfort with the highest quality materials and craftsmanship. When it came out in 1956, the design of this armchair by Charles and Ray Eames set new standards: it is not only lighter, more elegant and more modern than the conventionally ponderous club chair – it is also more comfortable. Thanks to these qualities, the Lounge Chair became one of the most famous designs of Charles and Ray Eames and has attained the status of a classic in the history of modern furniture.
The Lounge Chair is now available from Vitra in two sizes: with classic dimensions and with new, larger dimensions. Furthermore, the various combinations of leather upholstery covers, wooden shells and bases are complemented by a white edition and a black edition with corresponding details.
Since the Lounge Chair first went into production, average human height has increased worldwide by nearly 10 cm. In close coordination with the Eames Office, Vitra developed the new larger version so that taller people, too, can enjoy the same exceptional comfort that Charles and Ray Eames intended with their original 1956 design.
From 1941 to 1943, Charles and Ray Eames designed and developed stretchers and leg splints made of moulded plywood, and in 1946 they exhibited their experimental moulded plywood furniture at the New York Museum of Modern Art. The Herman Miller Company in Zeeland, Michigan, subsequently began to produce the Eameses' furniture designs. Charles and Ray participated in the 1948 'Low-Cost Furniture' competition at MoMA, and they built the Eames House in 1949 as their own private residence. Around 1955 they began to focus more on their extensive work as photographers and filmmakers, and in 1964 Charles received an honorary doctoral degree from the Pratt Institute in New York.
The Eames Office designed the IBM Pavilion for the 1964-65 World's Fair in New York, and the year 1969 offered the opportunity to participate in the exhibition 'Qu'est-ce que le design?' at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. In 1970-71, Charles was appointed as the Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry at Harvard University. MoMA again presented an exhibition of the Eameses' work, entitled 'Furniture by Charles Eames', in 1973. Charles Eames died in St. Louis in 1978; Ray's death followed in 1988.
Charles and Ray Eames have had a profound and lasting influence on Vitra. The company's activity as a furniture manufacturer began in 1957 with the production of their designs. Yet it is not just the products of Charles and Ray Eames that have left their mark on Vitra. Even today, their design philosophy continues to profoundly shape the company's values, orientation and goals.