Ongoing restoration: Villa E-1027
by Eileen Gray, Roquebrune Cap Martin, France, 1926 - 1929
In 1925, Irish architect Eileen Gray and Jean Badovici, Romanian architect and editor of the influential journal “l’Architecture Vivante,” began to explore the area around Saint-Tropez, seeking an appropriate site on which to build a summer refuge for Badovici. She subsequently discovered an isolated plot – inaccessible by car, but within walking distance of both a railway station and a sandy beach – along a rocky stretch of coastline. Gray bought the site and spent three years in Roquebrune, taking prime responsibility for both design and construction, while Badovici visited frequently to assist in technical matters. The name of the villa, E-1027, is a cipher for the architects’ intertwined initials: following the E, the numbers 10, 2 and 7 represent the alphabetical order of the letters J, B and G, respectively. Built between 1926 and 1929, E-1027 was a unique experiment in architecture and design where Eileen Gray combined built-in furniture with ingenious spatial planning to engage the user with the building and site, incorporating the sun and the sea into the very experience of the house.
Today, after years of neglect and vandalism, the house is in the final phases of its restoration. Friends of E-1027 has cooperated closely with the French government and the township of Roquebrune-Cap Martin, who purchased the villa in partnership with the Coastal Conservancy, on both the exterior and interior restoration of this important work of modern architecture. The building will finally be open May 1st 2015.
More details: website.