Urban Fold

Battle of Legacies Strands One of Modernism's Most Important Houses

A house designed by pioneering modernist Eileen Gray, and later covered in murals by Le Corbusier, sits in preservation limbo as experts and officials debate whose legacy demands more respect in stalled renovations.

"Despite its auspicious beginnings, the house—one of the most important examples of domestic architecture in the 20th century—is shrouded in the kind of intrigue that one usually associates with Italian castles or crumbling English manors, not sparkling flat-roofed structures in the south of France," writes Alastair Gordon. 

"[Gray's] supporters feel that the defacing murals should be removed and the house restored to its 1929 condition. But Le Corbusier is more famous than Gray, and the murals have been deemed works of art—national treasures, even—and accordingly preserved and restored. One suggestion was to create scrims that could be pulled over the murals when Gray scholars were visiting and then pulled back again when Le Corbusier scholars were on site. But nothing has been done to resolve the conflict. The house remains shut to the public, mired in disrepair and bureaucratic deadlock."

Full Story: Le Corbusier's Role in the Controversy Over Eileen's Gray's E.1027

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