Tuesday, April 12, 2016

OPENINGS: Eileen Gray's E1027 house at long last welcomes the public

In June of 2015, after decades of decay and abandonment followed by sixteen years of restoration, Eileen Gray's Modernist villa E1027 opened to visitors for the first time. The iconic house, built in the mid-1920s, is set on on a steep seaside cliff facing the azure waters of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin on the French Riviera. It was designed to be a romantic retreat for Gray and her lover, architecture writer Jean Badovici. 

Photo: © Manuel Bougot
The E1027 moniker, humorously made to sound technical and avant garde, was a clever code for the intertwining of Gray and her lover’s names: E for Eileen, 
10 (the tenth letter of the alphabet ) for Jean, 2 for B and 7 for G.

Living room of E1027 
Eileen Gray designed all the furniture and rugs. 
The mural on the far wall was Le Corbusier’s creation. 
Photograph: © Manuel Bougot 

The E-1027 was a three-year project, and a supreme embodiment of the principles of Modernism. The L-shaped house — white, flat-roofed, with both fixed and freestanding walls, built of reinforced concrete and steel, with horizontals dominating — was set into a naturally-terraced landscape. Its expansive windows faced the Mediterranean; a tidy spiral stairway led to the guest room, and terminated in a glass-enclosure on the roof. It was an elegant maison minimum — open yet compact, minimal yet functional. As a capper, Gray created for the house her now-ubiquitous circular steel-and-glass adjustable E-1027 table — inspired, she said, by her sister’s love of breakfast in bed.
                                                                                                       The classic E1027 table

E.G. Blue Marine rug -- my favorite of her designs

To read a full-length article about Eileen Gray's fascinating life and work, you can 
link to my Spring 2011 Modernism magazine article
From Shadow to Light here.

Originally posted on  

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