Irish-born designer Eileen Gray (1878-1976) was an extremely private figure and has remained an elusive subject despite her long-lasting influence. Known primarily for her highly original furniture and interior design, Gray realized nine buildings in her lifetime and recorded more than 45 architectural projects in her archive, although several of her built projects were attributed, until very recently, solely to her collaborator, Romanian architect Jean Badovici.
After briefly studying art in London and Paris, Gray settled in Paris in 1907 and began designing sumptuous lacquer furniture, wool carpets, and draperies that reflected the sensual luxury of traditional French decorative arts. Beginning in the mid-1920s, and influenced by the modern movement, she turned to architecture. Her most renowned project, the villa E.1027 on the coast of southern France, interprets Corbusian spatial principles and forms to become a fundamental example of Modernist architecture.