24th June 2018
Eileen Gray is considered by many to be one of the greatest designers of the 20th Century and unhesitatingly deserving of her place in Siobhan Parkinson’s book Rock the System about unique, fearless Irish women. I’d like to think she didn’t so much rock the system as break it. She would not let anything be a barrier and was the first woman to be invited to study at Slade School of Art. Creativity burst from her every pore and when she decided to build a house with her boyfriend, Jean Badovici, the fact that she was not a trained architect was not going to get in the way of proceedings. We all now have a chance to play a part in completing the restoration of this house through a campaign set up by the Cap Moderne Association and which we, Greyscape, are supporting. Please see the link at the end of this post. Named E-1027 after her name and her partner’s date of birth, the property in Rocquebrune is an iconic modernist house. It is the stunning manifestation of Eileen’s philosophical approach,
‘To create one must first question everything’
The house is simple, elegant and flows logically. It accommodates real people living (tempestuously at times) in a home that’s very name was a combination of their initials and dates.
Greyscape visited E-1027 earlier this year and wrote about the extraordinary story of the creation of the house and its decay in the early 1990s when it fell into a desperate state of disrepair. Rescue came care of some driven individuals who simply could not bear to lose the property. In 1999 the French National Trust lent its support and protection. In 2014 Association Cap Moderne was formed in order to protect this important example of 20th Century modernism . Today all essential structural work has now been completed what remains to be done is the re-creation of Eileen’s fixed and freestanding furnishings using her original methods and materials alongside improving disabled access to the site. The Association Cap Moderne has launched an appeal giving us all an opportunity to play our part in the story of Eileen Gray. We hope you will support the Association Cap Moderne in their fundraising efforts. We agree wholeheartedly with Siobhan Parkinson’s view about the magnificent Eileen Gray who due to her modesty might just have slipped under too many people’s radar,
‘Her extraordinary story deserves to be told. She was an incredible woman who was bashing down gender barriers before women even got the vote. E-1027 is the only place in the world to get a complete sense of her design and genius’.
Photo Credits: House and Furniture: Howard Morris