LAR plastic armchair des Charles and Ray Eames, 1950 (made by Vitra)
The Plastic Chairs by Charles and Ray Eames are among the most important designs in the history of furniture. Following their initial presentation at the 'Low Cost Furniture Design' competition organised by the Museum of Modern Art in 1948, the chairs were launched on the market in 1950 in an armchair version (A-shell) and as a simpler side chair (S-shell) – making them the first ever mass-produced chairs made of plastic.
Pictured here with a sea blue plastic seat and black base, price £535. Many other seat and base colours and finishes available, including upholstered seats - contact us for details.
Dimensions: W 62.5 x D 61 x H 63.5 cm. Seat height: 26.5 cm.
Thanks to its compact dimensions, the Plastic Chair LAR is useful in smaller interiors, and the wide choice of colours for the shell, upholstery fabric, and base can be coordinated with diverse styles and settings. The steel wire base, which achieves maximum stability with minimum materials, acquired a charming nickname within just a short time on the market as a result of its unusual form: 'Cat's Cradle' – in reference to the children's string game. Due to the organic shape of this classic armchair, the LAR is a striking solo piece, but it can also be paired with many types of sofas to create an appealing contrast.
With the debut of their Plastic Chairs, Charles and Ray Eames introduced a new furniture typology that has since spread around the globe: the multifunctional chair whose shell can be joined with a variety of different bases. Already in 1950, they presented a series of bases that enabled various sitting positions, including the low-slung LAR (Lounge Height Armchair Rod Base). The LAR seems to have been one of Charles and Ray's favourite designs: it can be spotted in numerous vintage photographs of the legendary Eames House in Pacific Palisades – both indoors and out. This also reveals how lightweight the chair is, and how easily it can be moved around.