The Plastic Chairs by Charles and Ray Eames are among the most important designs in the history of furniture. Following their initial presentation at the 'Low Cost Furniture Design' competition organised by the Museum of Modern Art in 1948, the chairs were launched on the market in 1950 in an armchair version (A-shell) and as a simpler side chair (S-shell) – making them the first ever mass-produced chairs made of plastic.
With the debut of their Plastic Chairs, Charles and Ray Eames introduced a new furniture typology that has since spread around the globe: the multifunctional chair whose shell can be joined with a variety of different bases. Already in 1950, they presented a series of bases that enabled various sitting positions, including the low-slung LAR (Lounge Height Armchair Rod Base).
The LAR seems to have been one of Charles and Ray's favourite designs: it can be spotted in numerous vintage photographs of the legendary Eames House in Pacific Palisades – both indoors and out. This also reveals how lightweight the chair is, and how easily it can be moved around.
Thanks to its compact dimensions, the Plastic Chair LAR can also be used in smaller interiors, and the wide choice of colours for the shell, upholstery fabric, and base can be coordinated with diverse styles and settings. The steel wire base, which achieves maximum stability with minimum materials, acquired a charming nickname within just a short time on the market as a result of its unusual form: 'Cat's Cradle' – in reference to the children's string game.
Due to the organic shape of this classic armchair, the LAR is a striking solo piece, but it can also be paired with many types of sofas to create an appealing contrast. Especially in the version with full upholstery, the LAR offers long-lasting comfort, making this modestly sized armchair an excellent seating option for any living space.
Seat shell: dyed-through polypropylene. All models are available with a seat cushion (screwed to the seat shell) or full upholstery. The fully upholstered version has moulded polyurethane foam padding covered in fabric, attached to the shell with a welted edge. Different shell and upholstery colours and various bases provide a multitude of possible combinations.
Options: the Eames Plastic Chair is available as a visitor chair, dining chair, rocking chair, swivel chair or in stacking versions and with ganging brackets for row seating. Beam-mounted shells are suited for use in waiting areas.
LAR base: wire base with cross struts, chrome-plated or powder-coated finish. Seat height 256 mm. (LAR = Lounge Height Armchair, Rod Base)
Eames Plastic Chairs
'Getting the most of the best to the greatest number of people for the least': with these words, Charles and Ray Eames described one of their main goals as furniture designers. None of their other designs come as close to achieving this ideal as the Plastic Chairs. For years, the designer couple explored the fundamental idea of a one-piece seat shell moulded to fit the contours of the human body. After experiments with plywood and sheet aluminium in the 1940s produce unsatisfactory results,…
Charles and Ray Eames are counted among the most important figures of twentieth-century design. Their work spans the fields of furniture design, filmmaking, photography and exhibition design. Vitra is the sole authorised manufacturer of Eames products for Europe and the Middle East. When you own an Eames product made by Vitra, you know it is an original.