The cushier cousins of the Eames Aluminum Group bear the same distinctive stamp of Charles and Ray Eames. Sophisticated, refined, with a graceful silhouette. Soft Pad chairs are available with new colors, materials, and bases that let them sit well in homes and offices.
What's In It For You
It's uncanny. A chair designed in 1958 as outdoor seating still manages to look both classic and contemporary in 21st century interiors. The chairs' clean, trim lines make them appropriate for all kinds of places, from classic and contemporary homes to elegant offices to hip startups.
New options for this classic seating group expand your choices. New leather colors, finishes, and a 4-star base let you create Soft Pad chairs that work beautifully in your dining room as well as in work spaces.
If you choose leather, you can opt for our contract-grade or our new MCL Leather, a premium, semi-aniline, dyed leather with 100 percent natural full grain. Color variations and surface marks are an inherent characteristic of this material, which will acquire wrinkles and creases and develop a rich patina over time. The MCL Leather is available in black and pearl—and in more colors in fall 2011.
To complement lighter materials, we are offering powder coat finishes on the base and frame in white and graphite satin, along with traditional polished aluminum. And we are reintroducing the 4-star base on chairs with glides. Chairs with casters have a 5-star base.
Never being ones to favor style over substance, Charles and Ray Eames gave both chair designs an innovative suspension that creates a firm, flexible "sitting pocket" that conforms subtly to the body's shape. They created that suspension by stretching a continuous piece of seat-back upholstery tautly between lightweight aluminum side ribs. The foam cushions of Soft Pad chairs will not flatten or clump over time.
Pneumatic lift and tilt lock are available as options on the management and executive models.
With one-piece, curved aluminum side ribs and die-cast aluminum base, the chair is strong, yet lightweight and easy to move.
Soft Pad chairs are made of 57% recycled materials and are 97% recyclable at the end of their useful life.
Aluminum Group chairs began as a challenge among legendary designers. Eero Saarinen and Alexander Girard were designing the Columbus, Indiana, home of J. Irwin Miller, founder of Cummins Engines. They wanted a high-quality seating product for outdoor use and asked Charles and Ray Eames to develop one. The Eameses accepted.
Known for their honest use of materials, the Eameses constructed their chairs with cast aluminum and a seat frame meant to support a stretched synthetic mesh. The seat-back suspension was a major technical achievement and represented a departure from the concept of the chair as a solid shell.
We began making the Aluminum Group chairs in 1958. In 1969, the Eameses extended the original design by adding plush, individually upholstered cushions. They named these the Soft Pad chairs. The chairs' simple lines, innovative use of materials, and suspension comfort have kept them among the most popular seating choices for both offices and homes for more than 50 years.