The long-awaited announcement that e.1027, the legendary modernist villa in France created by Irish designer and architect Eileen Gray, has been restored and reopened means the landmark can finally be experienced and appreciated by the public. That is, the portion of the public who can afford a trip to the French Riviera. For others, the new e.1027: The Price of Desire video game, a joint production between Iglu Media and peacefulfish set for release later this summer for iOS and PC, could provide a virtual tour through the singular seaside home. Set to function like a mystery, the game allows players to unlock clues and explore the home's past; originally designed for Gray's lover Jean Badovici, it was later defaced with murals by Le Corbusier in an apparent fit of jealousy, and went through decades of abandonment and neglect.
"We want to give Eileen her place in history," says designer Garreth Gray. "We're trying to write her back into the history of house."
e.1027: The Price of Desire draws inspiration from Gray's life and work, as well as games such as Myst, Gone Home and Monument Valley, according to designer Jonny Kane. Players begin in the modern era before any renovations have taken place, and see it during its deserted and abandoned low point. As they discover clues and objects, players will eventually piece together the story and then travel back to two different time periods: the '50s, which the designers called the "bachelor pad era," when Le Corbusier and Badovici lived there; and 1928, when it was new and still matched Gray's original vision. By turning the home into a treasure hunt, the designers allow for a more immersive exploration of Gray's architecture, and even have looked into a virtual reality version for the fall.
"We wanted to include narrative hooks to get those who don't know a lot about architecture excited," says Gray. "You don't need to know anything about it before playing. We want people to leave [the game] hungry to learn more about Gray and Le Corbusier."
While he admits the game has a pro-Eileen angle, original source material, such as Le Corbusier postcards and Badocivi diary entries, were consulted to provide different perspectives.
"I'm not related to Eileen," he says, "but Ireland is a small place, that's what I tell people who ask."
· Previous Eileen Gray coverage [Curbed]