Friends of E.1027

E.1027 was built by Gray between 1926 and 1929 as a summer vacation residence for Badovici. The name of the house was a code for their intertwined initials: E for Eileen, 10 for J, the10th letter of the alphabet, and, following this logic, 2 for B, and 7 for G. Though the house was in one sense a collaborative effort, in reality Gray was entirely responsible for its design and for overseeing its construction. Badovici mainly assisted in technical matters when needed.

Gray built the house on an isolated stretch of the French Riviera, on the western side of Cap Martin overlooking the Bay of Monaco. She chose this sight for the beauty of its view and built the house directly into the terrain. Wishing to build a house that interacted with the natural elements surrounding it, she carefully studied the wind and the angles of the sun at different times of the day and year and in this way was able to build a structure with a constant, evolving relationship with the sun, the wind, and the sea. Gray designed the house so that inside and outside flowed together. Not only does every room give out onto a balcony, but the shutters, screens, and windows are all movable, allowing the inhabitant to harmoniously engage with the sea and the hills surrounding the villa.

The house was designed as a "maison minimum" - simple and efficient, with areas of built-in furniture and no wasted space. The main level of the house consists of a large open living room, a study/bedroom, a kitchen, and a bath. The lower level consists of a large covered sitting area, a guest bedroom, maid's quarters, and a WC. On the roof she built a garden which included an outdoor kitchen connected to the interior kitchen, and a small area for sunbathing.

While E.1027 was a modern movement house and employed many of the key tenets of the movement's chief architect, Le Corbusier, Gray took issue with Le Corbusier who famously felt that "the house is a machine to live in." Rather, she described the house as a living organism, an extension of the human experience, stating that "it is not a matter of simply constructing beautiful ensembles of lines, but above all, dwellings for people." "Formulas are nothing," she insisted, "Life is everything."

Gray created a villa with an open and flexible design which allowed the user to experience the space of living as an organic whole comprising the self, the house, and the outside environment. At the same time her designs allowed the user to maintain a feeling of intimacy and privacy, both of which she herself valued enormously. With E.1027 Gray made a singular and fundamental contribution towards modern architecture.

Friends of E.1027