The 4th edition of the Iconic Houses European Lecture Tour takes place from 9 -16 October 2018, when Tim Benton, Professor Emeritus in Art History (Open University), will tour five European cities -Oslo, Cologne, Rotterdam, Prague and Brno- with a lecture on Eileen Gray’s iconic Villa E-1027 by the sea on the Côte d'Azur. After many years of struggle to get the restoration and management of Villa E-1027 on track, Eileen Gray’s tour de force is open to the public and a member of the Iconic Houses Network since 2015.
Tim Benton (b. 1945) is a leading researcher in Modernist architecture, with Le Corbusier as his special field of expertise. His research interests also include drawing, photography and painting. Benton has published a number of books, including a classic study of the design of Le Corbusier’s villas in Paris in the 1920s that was republished in a revised edition by Birkhäuser: The Villas of Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret 1920-1930 (2007). He is currently working on a book on Le Corbusier’s domestic architecture (1910-1951). He has contributed to exhibitions at the Victoria and Albert Museum; Art Deco 1910-1939 (2003), and Modernism Designing a New World (2006), and to the first retrospective exhibition of Charlotte Perriand in the Pompidou Centre, Paris (2006).
Lecture and Film ‘E-1027 Restoration’
Tim Benton’s lecture focuses on the restoration of the furniture in Villa E-1027 and on the various controversies which have coloured the way the house and its contents have been understood and explained.
In the last two years, much of the effort of the Association Cap Moderne has gone into restoring the fixed and free-standing furniture in the living room. The plan and its furnishings proposed a new form of modern living, more adapted to the body and to gesture but also more flexible and humane. But work has also gone into challenging some of the myths concerning the relationship between Eileen Gray, Jean Badovici and Le Corbusier. What was Badovici’s role? Why did Le Corbusier paint seven murals in the house between April 1938 and August 1939? How should the house be interpreted in its lived existence? The lectures are in English. The film by Vincent Cattaneo documents restoration work carried out by the Association Cap Moderne between 2015 and 2017 (the film lasts 55 minutes and is French spoken with English subtitles).
As part of our overall funding campaign, we launched a Crowdfunding campaign through Indiegogo on Tuesday 11th September 2018:
The campaign will run for 60 days until Saturday 10thNovember.
The Association Cap Moderne embarked on its prorgamme of restoration of the Villa E-1027 in 2014. All essential structural work has now been completed. What remains to be done is the recreation of Eileen’s fixed and free-standing furnishings, using her original materials and methods. Through crowdfunding, we aim to raise €55,000 (€110,000 with matched funding) towards our fundraising efforts to bring the house back to its former glory. E-1027 is a listed Historic Monument, and as such, all donations towards its approved restoration will be matched by the French state.
These funds will be used to refurnish the dining alcove and bar. Important pieces include the dining table with a built-in electric light and cork top, and a specially made lemon container - Menton lemons were a speciality of the region. We also hope to re-create the famous Non-conformist chair: Eileen noticed that most people sit to one side in a chair and tended to turn to look over the other so she designed the Non-conformist chair with one curved upholstered armrest, the other simply a slanted nickel-plated steel tube. At the back of the dining alcove there is also an ingenious foldable table that when opened transforms the corridor into a bar, which highlights Eileen’s practical dual-function design genius. Over the next two years, we also aim to provide disabled access to the site.
Two well-known architects are overseeing the furniture recreation: Renaud Barrès - Architect and specialist in Eileen Gray’s architecture and furniture and, Burkhardt Rukschcio - Architect, Professor Emeritus (Prague) and specialist in 20th-century restoration.
In order to encourage donations, we will be offering some fantastic rewards for donations. Contributors to this campaign will be recipients of specially commissioned images of E-1027 by one of today’s most illustrious architectural and interiors photographers, François Halard. He will print all images to his exacting standards and where stated, these will be stamped limited editions. François’ work spans the globe capturing, in his distinctive and tasteful style, images of the homes such as Maison de Verre and work of some of the greatest designers and artists of the 20th century, including, Louise Bourgeois, Cy Twombly, Carlo Molino, Coco Chanel, Schiaparelli, and Axel Vervoordt.
In addition, we will also be offering exclusive VIP tours of Cap Moderne, with the options of either a champagne reception or gastronomic dinner. Guests will also receive a copy of a facsimile edition of the 1929 edition of L’Architecture Vivante and Tim Benton’s book: Le Corbusier Peintre a Cap Martin.
On September 11th 2018, HSH Prince Albert of Monaco inaugurated the annual open-air sculpture exhibition ART’BRE in the Parc des Oliviers at Roquebrune Cap Martin, and notably the five large pieces by Cork-based sculptress Eilis O’Connell. They complete the six pieces by Eilis that are currently presented on the terraces of E-1027. Both exhibitions will last until October 15th.
At the same time, he inaugurated a striking new bust of Eileen Gray by Dublin-based Vera Klute which will remain on permanent exhibition in the bust-gallery in the Parc des Oliviers honouring famous residents of Roquebrune Cap Martin.
Cap Moderne is proud to present its new exhibition in collaboration with the Centre Pompidou.
This exhibition covers the key periods of Eileen Gray’s career, and focuses in particular on her ideas about the organization of space, as exemplified by the work she carried out in renovating Madame Mathieu-Levy’s apartment between 1919 and 1924.
It also sheds more light on Villa E-1027 and its interior.
The third section of the exhibition concerns the villa Tempe a Pailla.
Curators: Renaud Barres, Historien de l'architecture , directeur du CAUE de l'Aude,
Tim Benton, Professor of Art History (Emeritus), The Open University, Milton Keynes and
Cloé Pitiot, Curator at the Centre Pompidou, diplômée de l'Ecole d'architecture de Nancy
Visiting hours: from Tuesday to Sunday, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Admission 5 euros
The exhibition "Eileen Gray, an Architecture of the Intimate", was attended by 8,500 visitors.
Just a few words to tell you about what has been happening at Cap Moderne and about some forthcoming events.
The new exhibition "Eileen Gray, an Architecture of the Intimate", co-produced with the Georges Pompidou Centre, was inaugurated on 20 June by HSH Prince Albert of Monaco and enjoyed great success. There was a 20% increase in the number of visitors over 2016, partly thanks to the new reception and parking facilities at Cabbé station.
The restoration programme on the Le Corbusier buildings (the Cabanon, the workshop hut, the holiday cabins and the Etoile de Mer) has now been completed: the restored murals and façades have been much admired by visitors. We have also completed the structural work on Villa E-1027.
The terrace in front of the villa having now been cleared and restored to its original 1929 state, we have been able to use this area to hold brunches in spring and autumn and dinners in summer. The most spectacular changes, however, are those carried out within the villa itself. The work on the decoration and on the fixed items of furniture has enabled us to bring out more clearly Eileen Gray's decorative and architectural genius.
Today, after three years, we can be proud of our achievement: we have restored the site and created a reception and exhibition area as well as a car park at the railway station. So far we have committed over 3 million euros to the work, 50% from public subsidies (DRAC, region, department and Conservatoire) and 50% from private sponsors. A big thank you to both our public and private supporters !
One million euros remain to be raised, of which 500,000€ from sponsors, to terminate the layout, decoration and furnishing of E-1027, and 250,000€ to facilitate access to the site for the disabled.
With a view to safeguarding the long-term future of the site, we have signed an agreement with the National Monuments Centre, which will take over day-to-day management from April 2018. This will enable us to focus the Cap Moderne Association's energies and resources on our restoration projects and on organizing cultural events at the site, in partnership with the Eileen Gray-Etoile de Mer-Le Corbusier Association.
The site is due to re-open on 3 April 2018, following a programme of tours for schoolchildren in March. In the spring, E-1027 will hold fund-raising events, including a performance by violinist Maxim Vengerov, and the sale of a unique Aram table.
In June 2018 we shall also be holding an exhibition of the works of Irish sculptor Eilis O'Connell on the terraces of E-1027, in conjunction with the Art'Bre exhibition organized by Roquebrune-Cap-Martin. For the latter exhibition, we have commissioned a bust of Eileen Gray from another Irish sculptor, Vera Klute. This work will be unveiled by HSH Prince Albert in September 2018. During the summer we intend to welcome our first artist in residence and to hold a series of evening concerts.
Please help us bring our mission to a successful conclusion.
We wish you a Happy New Year and look forward to seeing you again soon.
President of Cap Moderne
In July 2016, after a lengthy process of consultation, the World Heritage Committee finally decided to inscribe the Architectural Work of Le Corbusier on the List of World Heritage Sites.
Inscription on the prestigious World Heritage List is testimony to Le Corbusier's ground-breaking achievement and contribution to the development of modern architecture and will ensure that his oeuvre, at Roquebrune and elsewhere, will be preserved and handed down to future generations. The Cabanon has the singular distinction of being the only World Heritage site in the whole Alpes Maritimes department.
The request for Le Corbusier’s work to be included on the Unesco List of World Heritage Sites, submitted in France by the Ministry of Culture and Communication and the Le Corbusier Foundation, had the support of seven countries (Argentina, Belgium, France, Germany, India, Japan and Switzerland) and seventeen sites around the world in three different continents. At Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, Le Corbusier’s Cabanon, adjoining Villa E-1027 and the Etoile de Mer on the Cap Moderne site, now the property of the Conservatoire du littoral, is one of the French sites listed. It should be noted that, in addition to the Cabanon, the site now also includes the Holiday Cottages as well as numerous paintings by the architect/artist.
On 7 September 2016 a plaque was unveiled paying tribute to Eileen Gray at her former home at 21 rue Bonaparte in the sixth arrondissement, Paris. The ceremony took place in the presence of H.E Mrs Geraldine Byrne Nason and representatives of the Paris municipal council