An open-air museum of modern architecture, under the sunny Côte d’Azur, does that tempt you? At the bend of a customs path located between Menton and Monaco, extraordinary nuggets of missing starchitects cling to the rocks of Cap-Martin which overlook the bay of Roquebrune. The imposing villa E-1027, an iconic residential liner on stilts co-designed in 1929 by Eileen Gray and Jean Badovici. The tiny cabin (1952) and the five camping units (1956) by Le Corbusier. L'Étoile de mer, a friendly bar-restaurant run by Nice plumber Thomas Rebutato. Property of the Coastal Conservatory, this remarkable, finely renovated listed ensemble, managed by the Center des monuments nationaux, is open to the public (by reservation) from April to November. Exterior, interior, furniture… this protean heritage always seduces§
Relive the architectural and human adventure of the Roquebrune-Cap-Martin site, spread between the 1920s and 1960s: here is the subject of this animated work (with flaps to lift) written by Christine Desmoulins and illustrated with archival documents and photographs by François Delebecque*. “Roof terrace, white and blue touches, but also wooden shutters, typical of the architecture of the Côte d'Azur, make up the marine vocabulary of the seaside villa E-1027, a legendary reinforced concrete structure on stilts,” underlines Christine Desmoulins. Led by Michael Likierman, the Cap Moderne association orchestrated the identical restoration of the premises with the scientific assistance of a college of experts, chaired since 2014 by Jean-Louis Cohen (1949-2023), famous historian of the architecture died last month.
* “A modern course: Eileen Gray, Le Corbusier, architects by the sea”, by Christine Desmoulins and François Delebecque (Éditions Les Grandes Personnes, 14 p., €15).
François Delbecque/SP (x5) – Great People/François Delbecque/SP