DATE - 1962

In 1961, two new terminal buildings were opened at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, and the developers of this airport needed new seating. Around the same time, long-time Eames friend, Eero Saarinen, also asked for new public seating for an airport he was designing, the Washington DC area Dulles Airport. The Eames Tandem Seating was first installed at these two airports, but they have been made available worldwide and are found in service at hundreds of airports. Having already developed successful sling seating, in the form of the Eames Aluminum Group, which consisted of chairs for individuals, Charles and Ray Eames had already been thinking along the lines of developing public seating based on the concept of suspended upholstery.

Eames Tandem Shell Seating

Concurrent with their work on Tandem Sling Seating, Charles and Ray Eames also developed Tandem Shell Seating. The two lines of “Tandem” furniture share one common design element: a steel bar to provide stability to long runs of seats. These continuous steel beams are strong enough to permit large clear spans, affording exceptional ease of maintenance.

Like the Eames Tandem Sling Seating, the Tandem Shell Seating was designed primarily for public spaces. Either type of seating could help organize space and provide definition. The Eames Tandem Shell Seating was more likely to be found in reception areas of offices or defined spaces in retail stores. For example, two Tandem Shell rows could serve very well as a department store’s shoe department. In the same way as with the Tandem Sling Seating, any of the spots on a Tandem Shell bench could be equipped with a table instead of a chair.

We’re not aware of any other airport seating that ticks all of the boxes. That’s why we call Tandem Seating the best in airport seating. Hundreds of airports around the world provide Eames Tandem Seating to their guests, and it is suitable for many types of public places. Some Apple Stores have equipped their in-store theaters with ETS. The design is available in Europe and the Middle East from Vitra.

Explore Similar Works