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

  2. Thank you for making this astounding article, informative and knowledgeable!! We have so much to learn from this. Anyway, If you are interested and looking for
    blinds fabricator service you may visit our website. You can also check our available services to offer. Thank you and More power!!

  3. I’m having a fortnight meeting in USA so my stress reliever is reading some blogs, but it’s quite difficult for me to spend or waste my time in simple blogs or non sense writings then somehow I read your works It’s so confusing because I love your enthusiasm on this subject so I comment on to admire your style. It happens that I’m curious about blinds fabricator service , I think you should try to check it out!


  4. You have been discovered it then you share it with your readers, I’m grateful because I’m one of your readers, I learn a lot from your posts, hope I will be able to read more. Do you have any idea about blind singapore? I'm really curious about it.

  5. Plantation shutters are always form royal look to the property with choice of varieties in the material from real wood, PVC to Faux wood materials that providing premium quality compared to other blinds and especially great when that comes from Australian Window Covering, Victoria.