(Image courtesy of D Rose Modern)
An addition to the Alu Group Series in 1969, the Soft Pad Low Back chairs were designed to be a luxurious and super comfortable seating option for a variety of uses. The models available on it's release mirrored that of the existing 'ribbed' Alu Group series and the versatility it presented was vast. Designed for the home, for conferences, for the professional workplace and for any commercial seating, the Eames Soft Pad Alu Low Back Chair was a go to option.
The Soft Pad Alu Low Back eames chairs were released in six variations, giving the intended user full control over the look and feel of the piece. There was the model without arms with either a fixed (EA205) or swivel (EA206) Universal 4-star base. Then there was the arm version, again with fixed (EA207) and swivel (EA208) bases. There was also the availability of the 'top end' arm chair, considered for the professional workplace, with a full tilting, height adjusting mechanism as standard and supplied with either castors (EA218) or floor glides (EA217).
Purportedly produced as an accident, it is said that the Soft Pad Chairs were inspired by an old aluminium chair with a prototype of the cushion for the Eames Chaise thrown over it. Whichever way it came into being, it has gone on to become one of the most recognizable chair designs of the 20th century and still inspires workplace chair design today.
The Eames Soft Pad Series also included a High Back Management Chair, a Lounge Chair, Recliner and Ottoman. The Low Back variants were reduced to 3 from the mid 80's change to the 5-star base but have since been brought back as customization options and on the old 4-star base once again.
The model numbers of all the Alu Group including the Eames Soft Pad Alu Low Back Chairs are a source of frustration and permanent misinformation due to the varying and changing codes through the years. Our full Alu Group Classification page gives details of all the group and changes but here are the model numbers, years and chairs for the Low Back Soft Pad:
|Width||21" (without arms) 22.5" (with)||53.34 cm (without) 57.15 cm (with)|
|Seat Height||20.5"||52.07 cm|
|Frame||Sand Cast Alu|
|Upholstery||Leather, Hopsack, Custom Fabric|
|Base||4-Star, 5-Star Universal Bases|
|Feet||Castors, Floor Glides|
Generations are often used to describe Eames pieces and designs but it is worth remembering that their interpretation can always be different and it is, after all, only opinion. What generations do though is give a buyer, collector and seller a method of aging, authenticating and of course valuing a piece