Berenice Abbott, “Portrait of Eileen Gray” (1926), silver gelatin print (image courtesy National Museum of Ireland)
Between 1926-1929, Irish architect and modernist Eileen Gray designed and built E 1027 — a white, angular villa in France’s Roquebrune-Cap-Martin on the Côte d’Azur. The villa was Gray’s first major architectural work and she designed it to be a living space that integrated her artistic vision both inside and out — from her distinctive furniture designs to the villa’s floor-to-ceiling windows and sunken solarium. The design of E 1027 prized movement, light, and efficiency; every part of every room served a purpose to Gray. There was no “wasted” space. Already a well-known furniture designer, Gray was one of the pioneering architect-designers of what would come to be known as the International Style.