the eames house and studio

Built in 1949, the Eames House and Studio, designed by the married dynamic duo, Charles and Ray Eames, nestles into a 1.4-acre Pacific Palisades wooded hillside with glorious views of the ocean. Built with off-the-shelf parts, the house was part of the Case Study House Program sponsored by John Entenza's Arts & Architecture Magazine. The house is now owned and operated by the Eames Foundation and is available for limited outdoor and indoor visits (although indoor visits will set you back mightily, starting at $275). Because of all the glass, you'll get a good view of the public indoor spaces, so only true Eamesheads need to ply serious scratch for indoor tours. You need a reservation to visit the house, so plan accordingly.

The lot is spectacular with a massive meadow that opens up to the sea. The original design (with Eero Saarinen) called for a more dramatic structure fully embracing the view, but the Eames, after three years of lot picnics while waiting for house parts to appear, redesigned the house with a lighter footprint toward the hillside. Next door and along the street are several difficult-to-see Richard Neutras.


a visit to schindler's leland-fitzpatrick house

Our most favorite house in the world is R.M. Schindler's Fitzpatrick-Leland House in Los Angeles. It is simply a stunner, a cubist masterpiece of home architecture gorgeous from every angle, but especially glorious from the back, where the house first intimately engages visitors.

We had hoped to take the architect and builder to see the house on Monday, when it is officially open at the first of the month, but our flights were leaving too soon and the house opening too late. After stopping in at the Schindler-Chace House, I thought "What the hell! We're heading to the mountains!" to at least gawk at the house from the street. After arriving and carefully walking up the drive, the owner of the business renting the space came marching out and graciously offered the house to us for inspection. And so we partook!

My favorite view of the house is from across the pool back toward the inner elbow of the floor plan, but, using this visit to savor other views, I 'discovered' the delightful view in the photo above from the walkway back toward the house.