Herman Miller Showroom | Los Angeles Conservancy
Herman Miller Showroom
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Herman Miller Showroom

Charles and Ray Eames were famous for their innovative designs, working on everything from furniture to photography. Their best-known design was architectural: that of their own home, Case Study House #8. Yet they designed only a small number of other buildings, and even fewer were ever built. One of the few remaining Eames designs is the Herman Miller Showroom, completed on Beverly Boulevard in West Hollywood in 1949.

The Herman Miller Furniture Company asked Charles Eames to design their first showroom on the West Coast shortly after the company began to manufacture Eames furniture. His Mid-Century Modern design, on which he collaborated with Ray, reflected many of the same principles as the Eames House itself: use of an industrial steel frame and patterned glass and opaque panels, emphasis on standardized components, and an open and flexible plan. The front façade is basically one enormous display window composed of smaller windows, and the Mondrianesque opaque panels (which are apparently no longer present) could be moved around to change the window's appearance.

The interior is even more flexible, consisting of a grid with display panels that could be moved nearly anywhere and fixed into holes in the floor and ceiling. All of it served to minimize the architecture and maximize display of the furniture within, in the functionally aesthetic style of all Eames designs.

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