February 9, 2009


This house was originally designed and built by Eileen Gray - who was a Irish laquer artist, architect and designer.  She is one of my favorite artists!

E.1027 was built between 1926 and 1929 by Gray as a summer residence for Jean Badovici. It is situated on the Mediterranean coast of France, at Roquebrune-Cap Martin overlooking the Bay of Monaco. The name of the house, E.1027, is a code for Eileen Gray and Jean Badovici, E standing for Eileen, 10 for J - "Jean" (10th letter of the alphabet), 2 for B - "Badovici", and 7 for G - "Gray".  This was Gray's way of showing their relationship as lovers when the house was built. 
Le Corbusier, who was a friend of Badovici's, visited E.1027 many times.  He added a series of murals to the clean, white walls in the villa between 1937 - 39, without Gray's permission.  She took this an intrusion and considered the murals vandalism.  There has been much discussion on this subject as the murals were either painted out of admiration for her work or jealousy of 
her accomplishments.
Gray was ahead of her time in regards to the design and interior of the house.  Inside and out flowed together, every room flows out to a balcony, shutters, screens and windows are all moveable, allowing the hills and sea surrounding the house, to converge.  Inside there was no wasted space, most furniture built-in and living areas open plan.
Jean Badovici lived in the house until his death in 1956.  The house was then put up for auction and bought by a friend of Le Corbusier.  The house has had two other owners.  The second of which sold many of the villa's original contents to fund badly needed repair work, which unfortunately never got underway.  
After the last owner's death, the house remained empty and was susceptible to vandals and squatters, who damaged the property extensively. In the early 90's Friends of E.1027 was set up to raise money to restore this now historic home.

P.S. My favorite weasel, La Belette Rouge just reminded me that there is an amazing documentary running on The Sundance Channel (sorry overseas viewers).  Its called Eileen Gray: Invitation To A Voyage.

All images from Friends of E.1027


La Belette Rouge said...

Do you get the Sundance channel? They have been running a fantastic documentary about Eileen Gray.

So Lovely said...

La Belette Rouge: I completely forgot to write about that. I will add a PS. Thank you for reminding me.

Did you watch it? How amazing was she?

Fifi Flowers said...

Your post reminds me of being in art history class... modern architecture 201...lol

So Lovely said...

Hi Fifi: I hope you loved your art history class and weren't snoozing in the back, like I was.

Bob said...

That post is amazing. You can see how the style of architecture must have influenced so many people. Even today - it could be the winner of the 2008 NZ house of the year, it's got such a familiar appearance.