Eileen Gray was born into an aristocratic Anglo-Irish family in Ireland in 1878. Interested in art and wishing to live beyond the boundaries of conventional expectations, she left home for Paris in 1902. Having attended art school in London, Gray continued her education in Paris, developing her talents as a painter and designer of furnishings, textiles and ultimately architecture. She was first recognized for her adaptation of traditional Asian lacquer techniques to contemporary furniture designs, becoming known for her luxurious lacquer screens, tables, and panels that she first exhibited in Paris at the VII Salon des Artistes Décorateurs in 1913. Throughout this time she was also designing striking rugs with geometric shapes and varied textures. Like her early lacquer work, these rugs, and later her famous chairs — particularly the Transat chair, the non-conformist chair, the Lota sofa, and the Bibendum chair — secured Gray's place as an influential designer of the 20th century.
In 1922 Gray opened her own shop, Jean Désert, where she exhibited her furniture and designs as well as those of her contemporaries. She had met Jean Badovici, a Romanian architect and editor of the influential journal L'Architecture Vivante, who assisted her with the shop design and encouraged her pursuit of architecture. Gray formed a very close personal and professional relationship with Badovici, designing four houses and one apartment for and with him over the course of the next ten years. Of these E.1027 is undoubtedly the most well known, owing to his publication of a special issue of L'Architecture Vivante devoted to the villa upon its completion in 1929.