Roquebrune-Cap-Martin / Alpes Maritimes, France
Association Cap Moderne announces that the restoration of E-1027 has now been completed and will be opened to the public this summer along with other projects on the Cap Moderne site, such as Le Corbusier’s Cabanon and Unités de Camping, and l’Etoile de Mer restaurant, have been completed and are now open to visitors.
The site is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Since 2015, the house has been undergoing gradual restorations by the initiative of Association Cap Moderne, with the support of the city of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, the Department of the Alpes Maritimes, the Provence-Alpes-Côte-D’azur region, the Conservatoire du Littoral, and the Ministry of Culture via the DRAC.
Following a previous grant in 2016, the Getty Foundation agreed a further grant of $200 000 to Cap Moderne to help fund the reinforcement of the concrete of E1027.
A veritable icon of modernist architecture, villa E-1027, Eileen Gray’s first architectural creation, testifies to the thought and attention that she put into every detail of the design.
It is tantamount to a manifesto both for its architecture and for the fixed and free-standing furniture, lamps and decorations that are inseparable from it.
Between 1926 and 1929, when she built the villa with her partner the architect Jean Badovici (1893-1956), the name of this holiday home they designed together was derived from the interlinking of their initials: E for Eileen, 10 for the J of Jean, 2 for the B of Badovici, 7 for the G of Gray, the name of the villa thus interweaves their initials.
Eileen spent three whole years designing the furniture and working with her partner Jean Badovici on the plans.
The Villa is small but for Eileen Gray everyone “must be able to remain free and independent” and store everything in a minimum amount of space.
For this purpose, she designed elegant, functional and highly ingenious furniture, paying the utmost attention to every detail.
Like the villa, the gardens and land are a listed as historic monuments.
Whilst varying the moods to the north and the south west, the garden extends the intimacy of the villa on the seaside.
To the southwest, it becomes an outdoor drawing room sheltered from the wind by maritime pines, with paved paths, seats, an area for sunbathing and a table for drinks.
Further down, a cypress overlooks the sea-lashed rocks to which cling a few indigenous plants.
To the north Eileen rehabilitated the citrus terraces and used the shade to install an outdoor kitchen.
The project was known as Le Corbusier’s “obsession”, as he tried to purchase the property several times but continuously failed.
Instead, he bought the property just nearby the villa, and transformed it into the Cabanon de Vacances.
In the 1930s, the house was infamously violated by the Swiss architect, who vandalized the pure white planes of the house with eight colorful, highly sexualized murals while staying there as a guest.
Soon after, the house was transformed into a target practice during World War II, where German soldiers practiced their aim against its walls.
Project: Villa E-1027
Restoration: Association Cap Moderne
Photographers: Manuel Bougot and Michael Likierman