E-1027 villa and the Le Corbusier site

Restoration works : Villa E-1027 by Eileen Gray and Jean Badovici, Cabanon and Le Corbusier workshop, Unités de camping of Le Corbusier, Étoile de mer, bar restaurant of Thomas Robutato.
Roquebrune-Cap-Martin (Alpes-Maritimes), France

+ Cap Moderne
+ Exhibition catalogue “E-1027 Restoration of the House by the sea”
+ Press review

Appointed by the Conservatoire du Littoral and the Cap Moderne association, DDA is proceeding to the restoration implementations in order to enable the definitive public access to the site.

The Cap Moderne site includes the E-1027 villa designed by Eileen Gray and Jean Badovici, the Le Corbusier’s buildings (cabanon, workshop and camping units) and the bar-restaurant which belonged to Thomas Rebutato.

The Cap Moderne association, commissioned by the site owner the Conservatoire du Littoral, operates on the site to enable the definitive public access to the E-1027 villa and the Le Corbusier buildings.

The E-1027 villa, built between 1926 and 1929, is among the most iconic architectures of the modern movement. A long term restoration program was planned with five topics:

  1. Analysis of reinforced concrete and structural degradation due to the Mediterranean seaside atmospheric conditions, research into proper site drainage;
  2. Research into the original color scheme of E-1027 and into the effects of sun and sea salt on painted surfaces;
  3. Research into climate control in the context of a building with large windows, little inertia and no hermetic integrity;
  4. Historical and technical research into Eileen Gray’s structural and movable furniture;
  5. Establishment of a database to document this research.

The works carried out since 2015 are scheduled according to the emergency of the operations. A first campaign in winter 2014/spring 2015 led to the restoration of the ruined solarium. These works needed to avoid the loss of original substance in order to preserve the construction’s authenticity as much as possible.

A second campaign in winter 2015/spring 2016 concerned the site’s drainage network that needed to separate the rainwater from the wastewater and the sewage, both to be pumped back up to the town pipelines.

This second campaign also included the restoration of the upper level’s bathroom. This project served as an experiment to prove that the restitution work is credible and can be led for the whole E-1027 villa’s interiors. These works were completed with Arthur Rüegg, expert and Emeritus professor, architect ETH SIA BSA.

The work plan was followed by the French public institution in charge of the protected buildings, the Direction Régionale des Affaires Culturelles (DRAC), and by a scientific committee designated by the Cap Moderne association.

The general concern of these operations is the preservation and the guarantee of the authenticity of the existing structures. Therefore, the implementation works are conducted to preserve the constructions from all material loose and to reproduce the lost or heavily degraded pieces to their original scheme based on Eileen Gray and Jean Badovici’s sources, notably the publication in 1929 of the « Architecture vivante » review.

Project contractor
Conservatoire du Littoral
Cap Moderne association (+ informations)

Project designer
Devaux & Devaux architectes.

Implementation works to enable the definitive public access of the “ Eileen Gray – Etoile de Mer – Le Corbusier » site and the Cabbé train station.

Preliminary study and core mission