Charles and Ray Eames devoted much of their creative lives to developing objects and furniture that could be mass-produced and sold at affordable prices. An exception, however, was the luxurious 1956 Eames 670 inspired by the traditional English club chair and produced with a matching ottoman.
Despite such sybaritic connotations, however, Charles wrote that his intention was to create a chair with the ‘warm, receptive look of a well-used first baseman’s mitt’.
The 670 lounge chair essentially consists of three shells. That is, the headrest, the backrest and the seat. Each is made from five fused layers of plywood covered with another two layers of Brazilian rosewood veneer.
The armrests made the same innovative use of shock mounts that the couple had employed in designs of a decade earlier. Unusually, too, the upholstery was attached to the chair seat by a zipper.
As with other Eames designs, the 670 quickly generated a host of low-quality imitations. Nevertheless, the chair has had an enormous impact on the development of furniture design right across the spectrum -from bachelor pad to boardroom, a new look was launched that combined utility, modernity and black-leather comfort.