Asked to design lobbies for the newly completed Time & Life Building in Manhattan, Charles and Ray Eames created what would become two classic designs.
Intended to be waiting areas during the day and staff lounges after hours, the lobbies needed a comfortable chair, but one with a smaller footprint than the iconic Eames lounge. The Eameses conceived a new design composed of a bent plywood core covered in foam and thick, black leather. The arms, seat, and back were joined with polished aluminum frames. The result exuded executive appeal and became the centerpiece of each lobby.
The Time-Life lobbies also provided the impetus for a series of stools designed by Ray. Turned from solid walnut, the upper and lower sections of each stool were identical, with a unique center section. Many profiles were explored before Ray settled on three she liked. The stools served dual uses as low tables and seats.
These two designs were so intertwined with the project that inspired them that even today they are referred to as the Time-Life chair and Time-Life stool. Both of these classics are still available today.