We are pleased to announce the formation of "Friends of E.1027", a committee created specifically to refurbish and maintain the vacation house which was designed and built by Eileen Gray in association with Jean Badovici in Roquebrune, Cap Martin. The goal of this committee is to assist in the purchase and much needed renovation of the house, its grounds, and the famous Le Corbusier murals that are an integral part of its interior. After the renovation, the committee aims to maintain the house as a public museum, including an exhibition space created specifically to showcase other work by Eileen Gray as well as that of contemporary architects working in her spirit.
As Caroline Constant and Wilfried Wang note in "Eileen Gray: An Architecture For All Senses" -- "Eileen Gray (1878-1976) came to architecture via painting and the decorative arts. Her spatial sensibilities, developed on the basis of her experience with laquer techniques and furniture design, gradually led her to engage in the design of interiors and buildings. The breadth of her skills permitted Gray to make fundamental contributions towards modern architecture by absorbing the ingenious luxuries of past centuries within her ownconception of particular architectural elements as well as general spatial notions. Gray's buildings and furniture engage both the user and their surrounding space. She designed her houses with the sun in mind: offering selective light and variable protection, for example, by means of mobile shutters, screens and window panes."
E.1027, as the house is formally known, was built between 1926 and 1929 by Gray as a vacation residence for Jean Badovici in the south of France on the western side of Cap Martin, facing Monaco across a small bay of the mediterranean. She chose this site for the beauty of its view and built the house directly into the terrain. The view is further enhanced by balconies and a large open terrace on one side of the house, creating an open facade. A circular staircase connects the two levels, and extends to the roof. The main level consists of a large open living room, a study/bedroom, kitchen and bath. The lower level consists of a large covered sitting area, guest bedroom, maid's quarters and WC. The design of the house is a maison minimum; simple and efficient, with areas of built-in furniture and no wasted space. Its movable walls and windows, as well as the extensive terrace, create a harmony between the outside and the interior. The house will also feature many pieces of furniture and textiles originally designed by Gray, as well as many other surfaces and finishes. There is also a garden which includes an outside kitchen connected to the interior kitchen, and a small area for sunbathing. A particular focus for this villa was to create an open and flexible design while maintaining a feeling of intimacy and privacy.
E.1027 is a beautiful example of Eileen Gray's architectural and design skills, as well as a clear example of her importance as a world-renowned figure in architecture. For many architects the house is a pilgrimage, and it will soon be a destination for anyone interested in the history of modern archtecture.
To be placed on the Friends of E.1027 mailing list please contact:
Sandra Gering Gallery
476 Broome Street, New York, NY 10013
Tel. 212 226 8195 Fax. 212 226 7186
Most recent update on the Committee's progress:
We are in contact with the Mayor of Roquebrune, who is aware of our efforts and is very grateful for our assistance. E.1027 was given Historic Monument status in late 1998, but considerable funds are now needed for its purchase. We are organizing a fund raising event to be held this spring. Further notification about the event will be sent out as the specifics are determined.