A pioneer of the Modern Movement in architecture, Eileen Gray (1878-1976) was an influential Irish furniture designer and architect.
Friends of E.1027 an organization devoted to raising funds for the restoration and preservation of E.1027, the modernist villa designed and built by Eileen Gray and Jean Badovici on the southern coast of France in Roquebrune-Cap Martin. Built between 1926 and 1929, E.1027 was a unique experiment in architecture and design. 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.
The organization was first conceived in 1998, after Sandra Gering's visit to the site, when the building was in a state of disrepair after years of neglect and vandalism. Since then, Friends of E.1027 has blossomed, earning not-for-profit status as a sponsored project of the New York Foundation for the Arts. The organization has been closely working with the French government and the township of Roquebrune-Cap Martin, who together purchased the villa in partnership with the Conservatoire du littoral soon after the inception of the organization. This important work of modern architecture was subsequently classified as a French National Cultural Monument.
Under the auspices of Pierre-Antoine Gatier, Architecte en Chef et Inspecteur Général des Monuments Historiques, renovations have been underway for the past decade, with emergency repairs being completed by 2006. So far, major renovations to the exterior of the house have been completed including the façades, roof, and other exterior surfaces. Additionally, renovations to the interior walls and surfaces are complete. The Le Corbusier murals will be restored on the interior walls of the house; scrims will be installed, so that one can see the house as it originally stood, while others may move the scrims in order to study the murals in context. Bids for the garden and grounds restoration are currently being reviewed as well as fabrication of the furniture, which will all be recreated from scratch. Once the house is fully restored and refurbished with copies of its original furniture and decor, it will be maintained as a public museum with an onsite study and exhibition center for architecture and design in conjunction with the Corbusier foundation. Friends of E.1027 intends to create a fund to send a young architectural student abroad each year for a month-long study program at the study center.