We love the Eames Aluminum Office chairs. We have three gorgeous models that are true-to-design replicas of the original designs. Nowadays, you can find them almost anywhere, in almost every common office, but not every Eames Office chair replica is created equal. The fact that they are so famous makes them vulnerable to a lot of changes through history. At Barcelona Designs we try to keep our Eames Office chair replicas are close to the original as possible.
The history behind these chairs is one of creativity and inventiveness. The Eames couple was very famous for being always on top when it comes to innovation: they liked to play a long-term game while also attempting to cater to the needs of the middle class at the time. To say it another way: they knew what people wanted, and the type of furniture they needed, but they always wanted to push the envelope and see what more they could find while still making modern furniture accessible and desirable.
Behind the Eames Office chairs: where it all started
Some people like to say that the design behind the Eames Office chairs was mostly unintended at the beginning. The chairs started as home chairs, at a time where office furniture wasn’t really a thing. The company the Eameses worked for, Herman Miller, had a hand in adapting the design for its use in the workspace. The Eames Office, which was the place the Eames worked and realized their ideas, kept them very occupied with what would later be the Eames Lounge chair, the most iconic furniture item they would ever produce.
The Eameses, to that point, had not ventured in office furniture, but the technology of the times was changing rapidly, and advancements with materials and construction, as well as architecture and production, were creating a demand for office furniture that the Eameses could not overlook, and neither could their company. There was a post-war economic boom that was creating a more industrialized society, a precursor to the one we have today. Such a society was growing in size, workers were filling up workspaces, and there was a lot of opportunity in the horizon, so their ideas started to move in another direction.
The first office chairs and the Aluminum Group
Our replicas of the Eames Aluminum Group chairs are based on the original designs that came in the mid-60s. The Eameses had designed a chair called the Time Life chair in 1961, whose sole purpose was to be a lounger for the lobby of the Time Life Building in New York City. This chair would be the first design to be transformed into what we know today as the Eames office chair.
However, the aforementioned Aluminum Group of chairs had already been released three years prior, only they didn’t look the way they do today. The first prototypes from 1958 were static, meaning that they did not feature any casters for going around. They built two models with and without armrests, but they had the iconic ribbed-back design that survived to later become the Eames chair we know and love today.
The birth of an iconic replica
It was these first designs that gave birth to the modern Eames Office chair, the one that we’re currently offering at Barcelona Designs. Later iterations featured a soft-pad back, which is why we already have a model that meets those specifications as well. Following the lead of these models from 1958 and 1961, we’ve created a line of chairs that is true to the original design and follows a great standard of quality. To find out more about these chairs, be sure to check out our best-sellers page!