Billy Wilder’s House

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1950

In late 1949 when the Eames House was nearing completion, film director Billy Wilder commissioned Charles and Ray to design a home in Beverly Hills, California. Wilder was one of the Eameses’ closest companions.

Their plans for the project extended the ideas and principles that defined the Eames House: it had a large modular structure made of industrial off-the-shelf steel parts, high ceilings, and glass walls that flooded the interior with natural light.

Charles and Ray designed this home for a different lifestyle and on a grander scale than the Eames House (the plans called for approximately 4,600 square feet, compared to 2,500), but their objective was nonetheless the same: to provide what they called an “unselfconscious” enclosure.

The Billy Wilder House represents one of the last architectural commissions that Charles and Ray undertook. While they constructed a model and drew up preliminary plans, the house was never realized.