Eileen Gray, Casa dell´autrice, Castellar, Francia, 1932/36
Eileen Gray, Casa dell’autrice, Castellar, France, 1932/36
Eileen Gray (full name: Katherine Eileen Moray Smith) was born on the 9th of August, 1878 in Enniscorthy, Ireland. Her father was an artist and thus encouraging his children’s interest in arts, design and architecture. Her mother was a Baroness who took the noble name Gray and gave it to her children. Eileen Gray studied painting at the Slade School of Fine Art. After a visit in the Exposition Universelle in 1900, the World Expo in Paris, she decided to move to Paris and studied at the Académie julian and the Académie Colarossi. After her mother became ill, she travelled between Paris and London back and forth.
Jean Badovici was a Romanian architect and critic active in Paris. He was in a relationship with gray until 1932.
Together they designed house E-1027 in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin in the south of France. Gray designed the furniture in the house and together with Badovici the spaces.
One of the major ideas of Gray was that the houses of Le Corbusier were too standardised, too mechanical and not human enough. they were not focused on comfort but on efficiency. After their split, gray went on living in a completely self-designed house in Castellar.
In this house in Castellar, she could focus on other important house designs and on her furniture designs. Some of her most famous rugs, chairs and lamps were sprung from her mind in that house. But unfortunately the house was looted in 1945 when she left due to the war and very little was recovered from her belongings or material heritage. A red line in all her designs is the focus on comfort and human scale. She knows who she is designing for and tries to make a home, rather than a profitable housing project. The balconies in the outdoor and the big living spaces with attention for furniture and design are an example of this ideology.
– Francois Baudoit: Eileen Gray – 1998
– Caroline Constant: Eileen Gray, an architecture for all senses – 1996
– Daniel ryan: Sunshine and shade in the architecture of Eileen Gray – 2010
– Eileen Gray and Jean Badovici: E. 1027 maison en bord de mer