Released in 1961, the Eames Time Life Desk Chair was an adaptation of the original Lobby Chair design, smaller in width, higher in height and more upright, perfect for use as a professional desk or work chair. With its soft rounded cushioning, quality upholstery and availability on either castors or floor glides, the Time Life Desk Chair was an immediate success and luxurious choice.
The Time Life Chairs have (and often still are) also been known by the names of 'Lobby Chair' and in later years the 'Eames Executive Chair'. The original design was a specially commissioned chair for the Lobby (hence the name) of the Time Life building in Manhattan, New York. This design was essentially a Lounger with a laid back position and comfortable, inviting feel. In no time at all a commercial version of this Time Life Lounger had been released in 1960 and its success prompted the reworking of the design into this, the Work Desk Chair. The designs for the Time Life Building project turned out to be very fruitful and the Walnut Stools were another commercial success following it.
The Eames Time Life Desk Chair (model 3474) was 2 inches narrower than it's Lounge sister chair and with a more upright angled back. It was also the first chair released on the Universal Base which carried the possibility of fitting with either floor glides or castors. It is easy to see why it got the reputation of an 'executive' chair with its inviting leather upholstery and beautiful polished aluminum frame. As standard the chair was fitted with tilt, swivel and height adjustment.
The Desk Chair went through some developments over the years and is still in production to this day.
The model numbers of the Eames Time Life Desk chairs did change over the years, although not as much as those of the Alu Groups or Soft Pads. Following a complete change of model numbers in 1968 there was only one change since, when the base changed in 1985:
An introduction video to the wonderful Time Life Chair, also frequently known as the Lobby Chair, designed in 1960 by Charles and Ray Eames along with the Eames Office team. Manufactured by Herman Miller, the Time Life Chair was made in two distinct forms, a wider and more laid back lounger as well as the desk chair, as seen in the video. Our video is showcasing an early 1980's Time Life desk chair (model ES104), beset with beautiful deep original tan leather that helps to define this as one of the most luxurious office chairs to date.
|Height||34.5" - 36.5"||87.63 - 92.71 cm|
|Seat Height||16.5" - 18.5"||41.91 - 47.00 cm|
The above dimensions are for the Lobby Desk Chair on glides, the castor model adds 2 inches to all heights.
|Frame||Polished Alu on Plywood Skeleton|
|Upholstery||Hopsack or Leather|
|Base||Polished Alu 4 or 5 star Universal base|
|Feet||Nylon Glides or Castors|
Generations of furniture designs are rarely meant or pre-determined but mainly co-incidental due to natural development or changes due to necessity. The easiest way to determine a generation in the Time Life Desk Chair is by the base.
The 4 star base of the 1st generation Time Life, seen with castors
The Time Life Desk or Office Chair was the first to be released using the Universal Base which went on to be used with the Alu Group and the Soft Pad series.
The First generation of Universal Base consisted of 4 legs in a cross pattern, made from polished aluminum. The Time Life Chair was also the first to utilize a torsion bar tilting mechanism on the underside of the the chair.
Estimated Years 1961-1985
The 2nd generation Universal base has 5 legs, here with castors
The second generation of the Universal Base was developed in and around 1985. The design was changed from a 4 leg cross pattern to a 5 leg star pattern. The new design was across all of the Herman Miller office and work chairs and was intended to provide a greater stability to them.
Both the first and second generation Universal bases had the ability to be used with either nylon floor glides or rolling floor castors.
Estimated Years 1985 - Present