Eileen Gray: E.1027

Eileen Gray: E.1027

27.05.2021 — 10.10.2021



Pioneer. Innovative. Multifaceted. The Euskadi Institute of Architecture hosts an exhibition dedicated to the architect and designer Eileen Gray (Enniscortthy, Ireland 1878 – Paris 1976). Focused on its first and most important work, the E.1027 house on the southern coast of France, the EAI-IAE wants to rescue with this exhibition the figure of the pioneer of the modern movement.

A reflection on the many facets of Eileen Gray is proposed, from her well-known work as a furniture designer to her recently recovered architectural work, the E.1027 house. The exhibition focuses on the most significant and essential space of this summer house: its main room, recreated on a 1: 1 scale with pieces of furniture reproduced with original materials. In this way, the EAI-IAE wants to bring the work and values ​​of this architect closer to all citizens, in a journey from the global to the concrete, to understand the importance of Eileen Gray as a pioneer of modernity, also in the architectural field.

E.1027 made Gray one of the pioneers of this movement, causing envy even in Le Corbusier himself. Completed in 1929, the house was designed and paid by Gray; a simple, functional and rational construction open to the Mediterranean that was a true manifesto for his later creations. Gray studied concepts such as space, the course of light and orientation to bring her first project as an architect to life. She also looked at the habitability of the house to design her furniture, pieces that remain an icon of the 20th century to this day.

The house was vandalized by Le Corbusier – who painted murals on its walls against Gray’s wishes -, looted during World War II, abandoned, and later forgotten. In 2000 it was declared a Historical Monument in France and acquired by the administration, which began the restoration process; now, the exhibition that lands at the EAI-IAE until October 10 contributes to bring it to memory.

It comes to Spain for the first time after having been designed for the Mebanne Hall in Austin (Texas) and having passed through the Akademie der Künste in Berlin and the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Porto. This new adaptation, curated by Wilfried Wang and Carolina Leite, seeks to underline the role of this room as the key space to understand the house and the importance of its conception as a total work of art. After a meticulous investigation by the O’Neil Ford Chair in Architecture at the University of Texas, through photographs and documents of the time, all the finishes, fixtures and original furniture of the master bedroom have been recovered and rebuilt.

Thus, the visitor is offered the possibility of immersing himself in the exact environment that Gray configured for this space, which has more than 25 unique pieces, courtesy of the Universities of Austin and Porto. In addition, there are two pieces produced by the Euskadi Institute of Architecture.

On this occasion, two previous rooms complete the exhibition with a journey from the global to the concrete through the time and the figure of Eileen Gray, in the hands of collaborators such as the National Museum of Ireland: in the first, a collection of audiovisual documents on the time and life of Eileen Gray is projected; the second serves as a prelude to the 1: 1 scale reproduction, to explain to the general public who Eileen Gray was through some of her best-known pieces.

Complementary program:

  • Workshop and visits for families. More information HERE.
  • Guided tours for adults. More information HERE.
  • Eileen Gray: screenings. More information HERE.
  • Summer cinema. Coming soon.
  • UPV/EHU Summer Courses: ‘Gender, architecture and housing’. More information HERE.

Opening hours
Tuesday to Friday
17:00 – 20:00
Saturday and sunday
11:00 – 14:00
17:00 – 20:00

Press release_Eileen Gray ↓