The Eames La Chaise

A floating figure for conversation, rest and play

The La Chaise lounge chair dates back to 1948, when it was developed for the ‘International Competition for Low-Cost Furniture Design’ organised by MoMA. The name is a playful reference to artist Gaston Lachaise, whose Floating Figure sculpture was a source of inspiration for the Eameses.

At the Eames Office the chair was viewed as a piece of functional furniture for conversation, rest and play, but due to its massive sculptural form it turned out to be too complicated for mass production.
La Chaise’s unusual and distinctive form is testament to Ray’s training as a painter and her love of organic shapes. It is conceived as a one or two-seater, with the smooth and tactile curves of the white lacquered shell allowing for a range of comfortable sitting positions.
La Chaise’s striking organic silhouette could easily be mistaken for an abstract sculpture rather than a piece of seating furniture. Recognised as a symbol of organic design, the softly undulating shell has a relaxed appearance and invites the viewer to take physical possession of it and explore the multiple manners in which the body can recline. Resembling a free-standing work of art, La Chaise is made up of three distinct components: the shell is mounted on five chrome-plated steel rods, which are anchored in a cruciform oak base.
La Chaise has been produced exclusively by Vitra since 1990.

Publication date: 07.09.2023
Author: Stine Liv Buur
Images: 1-6: © Eames Office, LLC 2023; 7: Staged at the Eames House, Pacific Palisades, California © Eames Foundation, 2023 © Vitra / Photo: Florian Böhm (Studio AKFB) / Eames House © Eames Foundation, 2023

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