In her first work, the E.1027 house, which she built from 1926–1929 in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin on the Mediterranean Sea, Eileen Gray (1878–1976) designed almost every element herself. The walk-in installation of the bedroom in the passage of the Akademie building at Pariser Platz provides a direct visualisation of the architectural design by an unjustly neglected pioneer of modernism.
“Eileen Gray – E.1027 Master Bedroom”
12 April – 10 June, 2019
Akademie der Künste
Pariser Platz 4, 10117 Berlin
The bedroom was reconstructed at the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture, O’Neil Ford Chair in Architecture; curator: Wilfried Wang, co-curator: Peter Adam, Paris. Born in Ireland in 1878, Eileen Gray left home to study art in London before starting her career in Paris where she designed products and interiors and became involved in the Modernist movement.
Best known for her tubular metal and glass side tables and Bibendum chairs, Gray was also an extremely accomplished self-taught architect and her first completed building E.1027 is the subject of this installation. Architect and curator Wilfried Wang’s students from the University of Texas have created an exact 1:1 replica of the master bedroom at E.1027.
Completed in 1929, the building was designed by Gray for her then lover Jean Badovici as a holiday home on the French coast at Roquebrune-Cap-Martin. Given to him when they parted ways, the building eventually passed to the French government who only bought and preserved it because it had Le Corbusier murals on some of its walls. Le Corbusier had painted these as a rather petulant response to Gray’s work threatening to eclipse his own bid for fame and fortune. E.1027 is only open seasonally as a museum to small groups, so to have this impeccable reconstruction is a treat for fans of Gray – and for those not in the know, a chance to see the genius of the godmother of Modernism.