Period of Time:
H: 29 1/2"
Seating height: 18 1/2''
Weight: 18 pounds
Are you interested?
This is often called the LA FONDA ARM CHAIR because the Eames Office developed this design in part as a response to a request from long time Charles and Ray Eames friend ALEXANDER GIRARD for a particular type of seating for a restaurant, LA FONDA DEL SOL, he was designing for the New York City Time-Life Building.
Girard wondered if he could have seating where the seat backs wouldn’t be that much higher than the table tops.
Working with sound parameters, that it was something that a friend needed, and an intution that manufacturing partner Herman Miller could find other customers with this same need, Charles and Ray Eames reconsidered their plastic arm shell, and came up with this, with a lower back, and higher arms.
In addition to reconsidering the shell, Charles and Ray Eames developed a new cast aluminum base. This “La Fonda” base was an interesting advance over their previous bases, in that it is one hundred percent cast aluminum. In this version, which is the second iteration they introduced to the market, two cast aluminum pieces are joined by a connecting screw, and together cradle the seat, provide the height, and serve as the chair base. It is an interesting alternative to the he Eames cast aluminum base which preceded this which had a three part base: cast aluminum spider, steel tube, and cast aluminum base.
This example, one of a matched set of four, is upholstered with a remarkably successful black and white checkerboard fabric developed by Alexander Girard for Herman Miller Textiles. Many today consider this to textile to be reflective of the “Pop” sensibility of the era in which he created it, but in fact, Girard was influenced by folk art and early textiles developed by ancient and traditional cultures, such as this pre-Columbian textile in the Field Museum.
J.F. Chen Collection