Eames Shell Chairs

The perfect chair for every place and every space

Introduced in 1948 and eventually marketed as the first mass-produced plastic chair, the Eames Shell Chairs established an entirely new typology in seating. Today Vitra manufactures the seat shells of the Eames Plastic Chairs in polypropylene, while the Eames Fiberglass Chairs are produced in glass-fibre reinforced polyester resin.

With over 170,000 configurations, 23 shell colours and 36 upholstery options, there is a perfect Eames Shell Chair for everyone and every home. Be it in fibreglass, polypropylene or welded steel wire, the Eames Shell Chairs have been moulded to fit the contours of the human body to offer an increased level of comfort. The multitude of combinations makes it possible to use the chairs in the widest range of settings – from dining rooms, living rooms and home offices to terraces and gardens.

New lounge versions & new colours

Vitra has now extended the palette of the Eames portfolio to include four fresh colour combinations for the Eames Plastic Chair DSR, which look good not only in the dining room but also in the garden.

In addition, the three small armchairs Eames Fiberglass Chair LSR with seat shell in fibreglass, Eames Plastic Chair LSR with seat shell in polypropylene and Eames Wire Chair LKR have joined the large chair family – the latter in a selection of updated colours. While the fibreglass shell is only suited for indoor use, the version in polypropylene and the Wire Chair can also be utilised outside.
When designing the palette for the Fiberglass Chairs with their moulded shells, Charles & Ray Eames attached great importance to offering a range of neutral hues that would blend well with a wide variety of interior settings. They sought to develop integral colours that permeate the material and envelop the glass fibres. Charles & Ray Eames knew that this new design differed starkly from other chairs available at the time. Therefore, the fibreglass colours had to be very carefully considered to be accepted by consumers, resulting in an understated palette for the shells.
Our design teams carefully researched archival holdings and the vintage market to determine the historical use of colours by Charles and Ray Eames, and merged this knowledge with a broad-based analysis of current needs and market offers. Based on these findings, the palettes of the seat shells for the Eames Plastic Chairs, the Fiberglass Chairs and Hopsak cover fabric were revised in close collaboration with the Eames Office.

The inventive base system allows the chair to be used in a variety of different environments, both in homes and offices. You can find a version to suit every need - simply by selecting the appropriate base and choosing an armchair or side chair shell – and every style thanks to the large array of colours designed by Ray Eames.

Discover more in the Vitra magazine