Architecture / Art

Eames Case Study House #8

This article would normally be restricted to my Ultra Modern Tiny House blog, but due to its’ content that includes Mid-Century Modern, Tiny House, and architecture subjects, it is an acceptable diatribe for Ultra Modern Tiny House, Mid-Century Modern Groovy, and Howard Bosler Artist blogs. The last I heard, art included  architecture. 

I have done a reduction or tiny house variation of a Philip Johnson and a Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Now I have designed a tiny house based upon the Eames Case Study House #8. One of my favorite case study houses, the Eames House is International in style, while not as severe as some of the iconic houses of the Internationalists.


Eames Case Study House showing the side overhang. The wall retains the hill on the other side.

The history of the Case Study House Program can be found by clicking this link. No sense repeating what has been described in other articles.

The Eames House is located in California at Pacific Palisades. The significance of this house comes from the fact that the house was designed by Ray and Charles Eames as a personal residence and constructed in 1949. A house that the architect will live in, generally displays in detail the tastes and desires of the designer, as in contrast to the possible compromises made in building for others.

This residence has two floors and two buildings. One is the main building and the other is studio space. Avant-garde for the time, the rectilinear, window clad walls features areas of primary colors and white and black that gives the feel of a Mondrian painting. The windows, however, are broken up visually, not only by the solid, rectangular areas but by a large number of mullions framing the glass. Essentially, the complex is composed of two rectilinear buildings, with the main building about 2 times the size of the smaller studio building and stretched along the same axis. The structures were built with off-the-shelf parts.



By looking at the floor plan, one can see the balance in the design. If one includes the courtyard with the studio, the space taken is about the size of the main building. The layout avoids complexity with unnecessary rooms that one finds in many residences these days. This house also makes a statement about living and work by actually physically separating the spaces, yet retaining the orientation of the two buildings and attaching the two with walkways and courtyard.

The original design of this house was concocted by Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen and proposed an elaborate, raised cantilevered form that projected over the drive and front yard. Fortunately, Charles and Ray Eames got together, after spending times among the lush landscape, and created a design less demanding on the environment, replacing the very dramatic with a solemnity and cooperation with nature.

This house was so successful that the Charles and Ray Eames lived there the rest of their lives.





The Studio

















Studio Interior



The Tiny House Version:


The tiny house version seeks to keep the outward appearance of the Eames House while adding a few additional features fundamental to the new design. Of course, the changes made could be applied to a larger footprint and present exciting design variations. This tiny house is only 287 sq. ft.


Side Portico at night.


The side overhang acts as a portico and, since there are doors all around the structure, acts as a front entrance, even though this is a side of the Eames House.


Same image with full sunlight.


I used a stone wall instead of the manufactured look of cement blocks. This adds a more organic feel to a wall, here, that does not hold back earth and continues the warmth of the wood-paneled wall interior.



The image here shows the direct take on the Eames House design, with a slight change to the corner post as a cylindrical support.



Coming around to the side we notice the use of primary colors. However, instead of the smaller, colored inserts, I have used large panels relatively speaking and the color red is represented by a tinted window. Red tinted glass also has a dramatic effect on the interior, flooding areas with color during the day and creating geometric displays on interior walls and objects. This is a major design feature of this tiny house and one I have not seen before in tiny house construction.







The glass to the right is tinted blue and yellow and the white panels seen on the Eames House are included.


The house at night showing the red, blue and yellow tinted windows.


Interior view immediately inside the portico.



Looking from the direction of the modular kitchen. The sofa is a Grand Confort sofa by Le Corbusier. The blue chair is an Eames chair, of course.


Looking from the sofa. (Notice the Wassily Chair to the left out on the portico.)


Viewing the hall.



Seeing the vaulted ceiling. Notice that the internal walls are partitions and do not meet the ceiling.



Another view looking up. The wood structure to the left is a storage cabinet that also satisfies as a partition. The bedroom is behind this cabinet. The wall further down is not aligned to the cabinet and hides the bathroom area.


Peeking between the two cabinets.



Inside the bedroom with its’ Barcelona Chair by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.


View from the bed’s headboard.



The attendant bathroom area with a shower cabinet next to the yellow tinted window.


Self-Portrait in Yellow Chair

Self-Portrait in Yellow Chair



One thought on “Eames Case Study House #8

  1. Pingback: Minimalism Revisited | Howard Bosler Artist

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