(ordered from a marine catalog) led to bedrooms on a mezzanine; under the mezzanine was a small alcove with built-in seats and bookcases, and a kitchen. Charles and Ray Eames lived in their “house of parts” for the rest of their lives.

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Eames House, Pacific Palisades, California; Charles and Ray Eames, architects, 1945–1949. Interior of living room, photographed in 1978.

By precept and practice, and by the exploitation of technology, they made an invaluable social contribution by promoting the awareness of good design throughout the United States. Their design partnership encompassed many fields: architectural works from houses to exhibitions; innovative plywood, aluminum, or fiberglass chairs; graphics; toy animals; and even a carousel. They also produced more than 120 films. Recently, an international exhibition of their achievements was mounted at Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, Germany. Vitra was the European manufacturer of their furniture for more than thirty years. The show, The Work of Charles and Ray Eames: A Legacy of Invention, traveled to Bilbao, Paris, Copenhagen, and London before beginning its American tour at the Library of Congress in May 1999, after which it moved to New York, St. Louis, Los Angeles, and Seattle.

Further reading

Dunster, David. 1990. Houses, 1945–1989. Vol. 2 of Key Buildings of the Twentieth Century. Boston: Butterworth.

Neuhart, John, Marilyn Neuhart, and Ray Eames. 1989. Eames Design: The Work of the Office of Charles and Ray Eames. New York: Abrams.

Steele, James. 1998. Eames House: Pacific Palisades 1949, Charles and Ray Eames. London: Phaidon.

Eiffel Tower

Paris, France

The Eiffel Tower was built between 1887 and 1889 as the entrance arch to the International Paris Exhibition, held to celebrate the centenary of the French Revolution. Conceived in 1882 by Gustave Eiffel’s chief research engineers Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier, and constructed in collaboration with architect Stephan Suavestre, the tower is a graceful and imaginative puddled iron lattice pylon. It soars to 1,020 feet (312 meters), the first building in almost 5,000 years to surpass the height of the Great Pyramid.