The other day I saw a documentary about Eileen Gray. This amazing woman is one of the most important furniture designers and architects of the early 20th century and her work still inspires. While at the time most designers were male and members of different style groups like De Stijl in The Netherlands she remained independent and for most of her career she worked in relative anonymity.
In the early 1920s she decided to concentrate on architecture and in 1924 she began, together with the Roman-born architect Jean Badovici, to work on the construction of the house E-1027 on a steep cliff overlooking the Mediterranean at Roquebrune near Monaco. With its L-shape and flat roof and floor-to-ceiling windows facing the sea it was both open and compact. Gray designed the furniture and worked with Badivici on the structure. Her E-1027 glass table (originally designed for one of her sisters so she could have breakfast in bed) and the Bibendum armchair was designed for this house, inspired by Marcel Breuer at the Bauhaus. Her friends participated in the project and the main entrance has a mural by Le Corbusier.
Gray refined many of the ideas developed there in Tempe á Pailla, a smaller house she built for herself in the beginning of the 1930s further along the coast at Castellar. For this compact home she designed the foldable S-Chair and a double-sided chest of drawers.