Also known as the Model No.670, the Lounge Chair and Ottoman was allegedly the Eameses first design for the luxury end of the furniture market. In 1957, its retail price was $634; equivalent to $5,724.17 in 2013. Despite this, our high-quality replicas make this timeless piece available to the many, not just a wealthy minority.
There are several stories circulating about the original inspiration for Charles E.’ design of the Lounge Chair and Ottoman. It has been said the Chair was originally designed as a one-off birthday gift for Charles E.’ close friend, film director Billy Wilder. It has also been claimed that Eames conceived the Chair has an alternative to the traditional English “Club Chair”. However, when the Lounge Chair premiered on Arlene Francis’s ‘Home’ show in 1956, the Chair came to national attention. Such was the popularity and prestige of the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman it quickly became a status symbol. Indeed, in the 1960s, it was said that no business executive had ‘made’ it to the top until he had one in his or her office.
Charles E.’s motivation behind the design was nevertheless to imitate the comfort of a “the warm, receptive look of a well-used first baseman's mitt." Indeed, it is this warm and inviting look, along with its strength and structure that has made this piece one of the most widely-recognised designs of the Twentieth Century.
Conceived sometime between 1955 and 1956, the Lounge Chair and Ottoman reflected Eames’s awareness of tradition as well as his way of approaching a problem: identify the human need first and build around it. That Charles E. would choose to make a chair with Plywood pays testament to his earlier success with the material; most notably, with a one-man exhibition hosted at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York. Eames had already produced a well-known set of moulded Plywood chairs with the LCM collection. Indeed, he incorporated the same idea of rubber shock mounts onto the Lounge Chair that he had used for his Plywood pieces.
With the Lounge Chair, the shells are cut from a single sheet of seven-ply selected rosewood veneer Plywood and formed in a hot-press metal die. Each of the three shells features a curved shape and are connected with visible elements. The seven inner plies of Plywood are exposed on the edges. After sanding, the shells are hand-rubbed with wax. The Chair itself is fixed on a pedestal with a five-prong base (the Ottoman, by contrast, is supported by a four-prong base) manufactured from die-cast Aluminium. There are three soft cushions fashioned from the finest Italian leather, as well as cushions on the arm-rests of the Chair. The back of the seat is set to a 15 degree recline, providing ultimate comfort when sitting down.
Swivel UK provides reproductions of the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman that stay true to the specification and detail of the original design. Our Chairs come in seven choices of finely-crafted Italian leather for the cushions, along with three shades of wood: oak, rosewood and walnut. The Plywood is also available in a painted black or white oak variety. Furthermore, the Aluminium base of the Chair and Ottoman is available in either plain stainless steel or with a black powder coating, for those who wish to attain a more avant-garde look. The Chair stands at 85cm high, 84cm wide and 81cm deep with a seat height of 40cm. The Ottoman is slightly higher than the seat height of the Chair at 43.5cm, which raises the legs when seated. It is 65.5cm wide and 54.5cm deep.