Eileen Gray and the influence of Cubism






Modern Movement, Modern architecture, Modern housing


Eileen Gray’s design approach, resulting in the production of her two houses E.1027 and Tempe à Pailla as complete works, could have been influenced by the revolutionary effects of Cubism, in particular Marcel Duchamp’s version “Elementary Parallelism” and some of his later art practices. There are parallels between Gray’s use of purpose-made and standard fittings and Duchamp’s adaptations of mechanisms and his “readymades”. This is discussed in the multiple design fields in which Eileen Gray worked. There is a similarity in her approach to transformable fixed and loose furniture and architecture in the means by which she transforms space.

How to Cite

Diamond, R. (2019). Eileen Gray and the influence of Cubism. Docomomo Journal, (60), 77–83. https://doi.org/10.52200/60.A.7Y6V0CZB




Author Biography

Rosamund Diamond, University of Nottingham

(b. UK) Studied architecture at the Bartlett School University College London (UCL). Currently Associate Professor University of Nottingham. Founder director of Diamond Architects. Also taught at UCL and the Architectural Association. Hackney Design Review panel member 2008–2013. London correspondent of werk, bauen + wohnen, Zurich. Author of various architectural essays and has edited several architectural books.


ADAM, Peter, Eileen Gray, Architect/Designer, London, Thames and Hudson, 1987.

ADES, Dawn, “Camera Creation”, Duchamp, Man Ray, Picabia, London, Tate Publishing, 2008.

APOLLINAIRE, Guillaume, Méditations esthétiques; les peintres cubistes, Paris, Eugène Figuière et Cie., 1913.

BADOVICI, Jean; GRAY, Eileen, “E.1027, Maison en Bord de Mer”, L’Architecture Vivante, Hiver 1929, Albert Morancé, Paris, Reprint Édition, Imbernon Marseille, 2006.

BERGER, John, The Success and Failure of Picasso, London, Penguin, 1960.

BERGER, John, “The Moment of Cubism”, The Moment of Cubism and Other Essays, London, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1969, 1–32.

CABANNE, Pierre, “2. A Window onto Something Else”, Dialogues with Marcel Duchamp, London, Hachette UK, 2009.

DUCHAMP, Marcel, The Green Box, Paris, 1934.

DUCHAMP, Marcel, “Apropos of “Readymades”, Salt Seller: The Essential Writings of Marcel Duchamp, London, Thames and Hudson, 1975.

DUCHAMP, Marcel, HAMILTON, Richard, HEARD HAMILTON, George trans., The Green Book, London, Percy Lund Humphries, New York, George Wittenborn, 1960.

GLEIZES, Albert, Du Cubisme et des moyens de le comprendre, Paris, Editions les Cibles, 1920.

GOFF, Jennifer, Eileen Gray: Her Work and Her World, Dublin, Irish Academic Press, 2015.

PARKINSON, Gavin, The Duchamp Book, London, Tate Publishing, 2008.

SANOUILLET, Michel, PETERSEN, Elmer, eds., Duchamp du signe, Ecrits, Paris, Flammarion, 1975. Unknown author, “Lacquer Walls and Furniture Displace Old Gods