Showroom: Los Angeles, California
Progressive Architecture, Aug. 1950

program:
A new building to be leased to the Herman Miller Furniture Company for its Los Angeles showroom.

site:
Interior block site, 64 feet wide, in Los Angeles' fast-growing center for home-furnishings manufacturers and distributors.

solution:
A simple, rectangular room, with a sidewalk front (facing north) made up of a grillage of steel frame members, with the openings variously filled with clear glass, translucent lights, factory-projected sash, or opaque panels of plaster or composition. Thus, depending on which fillers are used, the front may be as open or shut as desired. End walls are of brick. From the start, the designer determined to employ a "minimum of architecture," feeling that the building was important only to the extent that it assisted the main business at hand--a sympathetic relation of the displayed furniture to its surroundings, and of the clients to the furniture. Within, this same reticence and flexibility have been provided. In a modular grid, 7' o.c., in both floor and ceiling are threaded inserts to receive pipe-standard supports to which, in turn, a variety of partition panels may be attached. The system does not attempt to simulate rooms but by the placement of semi-partitions to echo space situations that occur wherever furniture is used. The open front (which can be wholly open or largely screened), plus the movable partitioning system offers many possible solutions to display problems and the bulding lends itself to complete rearrangement, depending on the seasonal need or the particular furniture to be shown. Natural daylighting from the (north) front wall is supplemented by three six-foot diameter circular skylights. Artificial lighting, like the partitioning, is flexible, with adjustable-arm fixtures hung from a ceiling grid.

materials and methods:
CONSTRUCTION: Foundation: concrete. Frame: steel and masonry. Walls: structural brick, the natural brick exposed on the exterior and portions of the interior; other interior areas plaster finished. Floors: asphalt tile or carpeting over concrete slab. Roof: built-up roofing over 2" x 6" solid woodsheathing that rests on steel trusses, 7' o.c., that span the 64-foot building width. Fenestration: architectural projected sash; clear, translucent, and patterned glass.

EQUIPMENT: Heating: gas-fired, forced-air system; ceiling outlets. Electrical: both incandescent and flourescent units; service outlets 14' o.c. over entire ceiling area, supporting paired pendant fixtures.

the designer:Charles Eames:
the well-known designer of furniture in the Miller collectioin received his training at Washington University, St. Louis, and at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, where he was a member of the faculty and worked in the late Eliel Saarinen's office. Busy in private practice.
(above) an interior space, set apart by partial partitions supported on pipe standards that are attached to floor and ceiling inserts. This particular area is terminated by a 12' x 14' panel supporting a huge photomural
(above) in this area a fabric display, hung from a rod supported on pipe standards, forms the partial partition behind the sofa on the left
(above) here a freestanding, serpentine screen and an open wood frame (hung on pipe supports) constitute the space dividers

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