Sunday, December 09, 2012

Morphology II: The Ocean Liner

Modern architects had a thing for ocean liners. Admittedly, the ocean liners of the time did an amazing job of making such a heavy object look weightless. Their sleek and clean interiors managed to provide a very comfortable and efficient living environment, and were like self contained cities floating on the sea. When designing a house that would look out on to the sea, Eileen Gray looked to nautical forms for some inspiration. She made explicit references such as the huge mural of a nautical map in the main living space and the life preserver hanging from the balcony. She also made implicit references such as the use of a sail-cloth type material for a removable awning on the main terrace (the awning in and of itself could be considered a reference), and the design of her transat (trans atlantic) chair is clearly inspired by cruise ship deck chairs. After the break,  a collection of images that draw some connections between E-1027 and it's nautical counterparts.

The cliché cruise ship deck chair image next to Eileen's Transat Chair on the terrace of E-1027

Awnings and Decks of Ocean Liners, and the Awning and Deck of  E-1027 (Complete with life preserver)

Top: Study in E-1027 Bottom: Interior of the SS Normandie

Nautical Mural in E-1027: Invitation au voyage.


1.AESTHETICS REVISITED - Accessed Dec.08, 2012

 2Constant, Caroline, "E. 1027: The Nonheroic Modernism of Eileen Gray", Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians Vol. 53, No. 3 (Sep., 1994), pp. 265-279, Published by: University of California Press on behalf of the Society of Architectural Historians
Stable URL:

3. Adam, Peter, "Eileen Gray: Her life and Work". Munich: Schirmer/Mosel, 2008

4. Corbusier, "Vers un Architecture" Flammarion, 2008.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I am doing some research on Eileen Gray and I would like to know which scale u used to draw the plans? thanks!