Laquer table by Eileen Gray, 1915
Tube Steel Tables by Eileen Gray - Late 1920s
Gray designed the furniture in the spaces of E-1027 to be lightweight, portable, and highly interactive. That is to say, many pieces of furniture could be transformed to suit a wide range of activities. For example, a table could become a desk, a dining surface, or a coffee table depending on the needs of the user, and could be manipulated quite easily by a few gestures.
In this sense, the furniture was not designed to remain in one place. It was designed with the intent that it could be moved around, adjusted, and used not just for one specific purpose. This idea is part of a greater theme evident in the design of E-1027, one which we will explore in more detail where rooms can be transformed and adjusted depending on the mood, the weather, and the company. Even where the furniture is more fixed, such as in the bedrooms and in the bathrooms, the furniture maintains it's interactivity. The mirrors in the bathrooms have telescopic arms and whole sections on hinges, allowing the user to adjust the mirror to his or her needs. The headboards of the beds contain tables which can be pulled out, storage for books and cushions, a space to heat a hot water bottle, and a lamp, again begging the presence of a user to operate it's many functions. By realizing that the experience and needs of the users of her furniture may vary over a period of time, she anticipated many of the possible ways in which her furniture could adapt to the many situations they find themselves in. Now the imagery of the mechanical ballet seems to be a bit more applicable.
Bedside Table, Adjustable Height
Dresser, Corner Hinged Drawers
1. Constant, 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: http://www.jstor.org/stable/990937
2. Adam, Peter, "Eileen Gray: Her life and Work". Munich: Schirmer/Mosel, 2008