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Ray & Charles Eames Home, Los Angeles

January 4, 2010

It’s a beautiful mature site, heavily treed with lush vegetation. The house is virtually surrounded by the landscape. I explored the house first, looking though the windows, inspecting the details and trying to envision the building process that the house took from design to execution. No doubt, it is a simple, straight forward house. However, to build an “American” home in structural steel was unthinkable during that time. A typical home in North America is built in timber balloon framing construction. Charles Eames’ home is an experimental house construction, even for today.

I wandered around the site looking at various station points from which would best illustrate the “house in the hill”. I chose the view that illustrates the façade with a glimpse of the two storey space in the living room.

The process I took to make the sketch started first with the beautiful tree in the centre of my sketchbook. Then the terrain as it cascaded towards where I sat on the slope. Details of the house followed as I navigated my sketching through the trees and vegetation that stood in front and around the house. Shading and the background trees finalized the completed sketch. The curator at the site was excited about my sketch and in appreciation for her time and tour I allowed her to make a photo-copy.

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From → Sketching

5 Comments
  1. sketching journey permalink

    A simple house yet a very ‘powerful’ edifice of Modern Architecture. It sits in the hill, married to the landscape, and now after all the years gone by it still harmonizes with its mature surroundings. It is a timeless entity. I had to visit this site.

  2. Daphne Chan permalink

    Right, totally agree. It blends in so well with the environment. This case study house is such a treasure and we’re lucky that Charles Eames’ daughter set up a foundation and share this ‘case-study’ house with the public.

    Charles and Ray Eames spirit in experimentation of quality design and construction using industrialized components was truly inspirational and progressive.

    Errol, your sketch is wonderful to capture the spirit of the house.

  3. Nice sketch – looks like the designers concept…. A great house inside too I bet. I wonder if it’s open to the public?

    • sketching journey permalink

      Hey Bruce, Thanks for visiting. Yes the site is open to the public, but not the house, although you can look into the house through the open doors. It is a small 2 storey structural steel frame house, simple and elegant.

  4. Bruce permalink

    Nice sketch, like the house, from another era

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