E-1027 villaRoquebrune-Cap-Martin

E for Eileen, 10for the letter J of Jean, 2 for the B
of Badovici, and 7 for the G of Gray.


Born Katherine Eileen Moray Smith in 1978 in the southeast of Ireland, Gray had a privileged background, enabling her to pursue her studies. Enrolled at the Slade School of Fine Art to study painting, it was in Paris that she was particularly struck by the Art Nouveau pieces on display. Following years in London saw her becoming student of renowned Japanese lacquer artist, Seizo Sugawara. Her approach to lacquer developed as less formal and she began applying this style not only to screens, but also to architectural paneling and extravagant furniture pieces. Back in Paris, she opened Galerie Jean Désert to sell furniture that she and her friends had designed.
Eileen Gray’s most iconic work is, arguably, E-1027 Villa. It was in 1924 that with her lover Jean Badovici, architect and critic, that she began working on the construction of E-1027 on a steep cliff overlooking the Mediterranean at Roquebrune near Monaco. The house emerged as a model of a new approach to Modernism echoing contemporary houses designed by Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius, to name a few.