Eames Eucalyptus LTR in support of Eames Foundation Posted September 6, 2019 by Marlow Hoffman

To extend the longevity of the eucalyptus trees harvested in connection with the Eames House conservation plan, Herman Miller, Vitra, and the Eames Office created something inventive that the Eameses would have appreciated. We think you will too!

Photo by Pippa Drummond. © Herman Miller, Inc.

Update: This is our last reserve of Eames Eucalyptus LTR. Eucalyptus Memberships are available to ship to the US and Canada only.

Receive a very special Eames LTR table as the gift when you join the Eames Foundation as a Eucalyptus Member. This limited run LTR features a solid top made from eucalyptus trees harvested from the Eames House site under our landscape management plan. Repurposing the wood from these beloved trees, as Herman Miller and Vitra have done, is an especially-appropriate honoring of Charles and Ray’s respect for good material and the environment.

The Eameses loved the eucalyptus trees on the site of the Eames House. Planted in the 1880s by Abbott Kinney as part of a forestry experiment to yield lumber, the trees had already grown into allées—beautiful lines of towering wood.

Photo by Leslie Schwartz

Charles and Ray loved the trees so much that they chose not to build the original design for their home, the Bridge House by Charles and Eero Saarinen. They hoped to avoid doing what so many architects regret: destroying what they love most about a site by building right on top of it. They didn’t want to bisect the meadow, and importantly, they did not want to cut down even a few of the trees.

Instead, Charles and Ray reconfigured the steel and glass to build the iconic home that we see today: A home that reflects the trees, doubling their number. A home with tallowwood lining the length of its back wall—a hardy type of eucalyptus commonly used in the 1940s and ’50s as flooring for skating rinks or auditoriums. When Charles and Ray returned from a long day at the office, they often paused to inhale the scent of eucalyptus and smile, rejuvenated.

Through the years, the Eameses allowed a few volunteer trees to grow from seeds dropped by the giants. The idea was that the younger trees would be in place when their progenitors failed. They recognized that landscapes are living entities with cycles of life.

Photo by Leslie Schwartz

In 2014, the Getty Conservation Institute funded a study of the site’s trees. An arborist analyzed their Safe Useful Life Expectancy (SULE) and identified a list of high-risk trees that needed to be removed. It was a painful discovery. The thought of clearing trees from the site saddened all of us at the Eames Foundation and Eames Office, especially when we remembered the picnics, flower arranging, and film shoots Charles and Ray had enjoyed under their canopies.

The Foundation’s decision to remove the first of these trees was made easier by a collaboration between founding sponsors Herman Miller, Vitra, and the Eames Office, to repurpose the wood into a timeless design. It is a beautiful expression of “Good Goods.”

This newest Eames LTR showcases wood tops from Eucalyptus trees harvested from the site. Herman Miller and Vitra have each donated 25 tables to the Eames Foundation for use as a fundraiser in support of its 250-year conservation plan for the Eames House. In light of last year’s horrific fires and mudslides, which were frighteningly close, the Eames Foundation is raising funds to create a Master Plan of Work. The funds will allow them to focus on a critical plan for reducing fire and hillside stability risks.

Please support the Eames Foundation by joining their Eucalyptus Membership, and receive a limited edition Eames Eucalyptus LTR table!

Update: This is our last reserve of Eames Eucalyptus LTR. Eucalyptus Memberships are available to ship to the US and Canada only.