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At Home in the 20th Century
New era for Villa E-1027 and Cap Moderne
The Conservatoire du littoral, the Cap Moderne association and Centre des monuments nationaux signed a partnership agreement for the development of the Cap Moderne site in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin (Alpes-Maritimes), France.
On one hectare of shorelines in Cap Martin, the exceptional real estate complex, called "Cap Moderne", is composed of the villa E-1027 of Eileen Gray and Jean Badovici, the restaurant l'Étoile de Mer, the Cabanon and the camping units designed by Le Corbusier. The Conservatoire du Littoral has gradually become the owner of the whole of this protected site as historical monuments. After the acquisition of the Cabanon in 1979, Villa E-1027 was bought in 1999 thanks to the support and financing of the city of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin. The Rebutato family generously donated the l'Étoile de Mer and Camping Units.
Eileen Gray and Jean Badovici, Villa E-1027 © Manuel Bougot
A true icon of modern architecture, the villa E-1027, the first architectural creation of Eileen Gray, was built from 1926 to 1929 on a plot of land overlooking the Bay of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin facing Monaco. It has manifesto value, as much for the architecture itself as for the fixed and movable furniture, the lighting fixtures and the decorations, that are inseparable from it. Le Corbusier, accustomed to the place since 1937 and in love with the Mediterranean, made several murals.
On the next plot, Thomas Rebutato, built the restaurant l'Étoile de Mer in 1949. A strong friendship is born between the owner and his young son Robert and Le Corbusier. The latter makes two murals and a painting, which come to dress the prefabricated construction of wood and fiber cement plates resting on concrete pads.
In 1951, Le Corbusier asked his friend Thomas Rebutato to give him a piece of his plot just next to the tavern, to build a holiday home. Le Cabanon, testimony of Le Corbusier's reflections on standardized production, was built in 1951. The structure is made of wood, the exterior facades are made of pine slabs, the interiors are made of marine plywood, and corrugated and fiber cement roofing. Murals of the architect adorn a wall of the entrance hall and the inside of the two folding shutters.
In payment for this parcel, Le Corbusier designed and built in 1957, at his own expense, for Thomas Rebutato five camping units, prototype of a modular leisure home. The Conservatoire du littoral gradually became the owner of the ensemble. Magda and Monique Rebutato benefit from the usufruct of the l'Étoile de Mer and camping units.
The enhancement of the site
Since 2014, the development and management of the site has been entrusted, by convention, to the Cap Moderne association, born from the meeting of the endowment fund Eileen Gray-Le Corbusier and the Eileen Gray Association-l'Étoile de Mer-Le Corbusier. Site restoration and enhancement operations are carried out in conjunction with a scientific committee, which is closely associated with the Fondation Le Corbusier, before being validated by the services of the Ministry of Culture. The site, open to the public since May 2015, now hosts nearly 10,000 visitors a year, on reservation from April to September.
In order to ensure the sustainability of the heritage and cultural project that they led, the Conservatoire du littoral and the Cap Moderne association, with the support of the city of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, turned to the Centre des monuments nationaux ( CMN), a public institution under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture and a reference heritage player, to entrust it with the entire management and conservation of the site as of 2020, when the agreement between the association and the conservatory ends.
The terrace of l’ Étoile de Mer (facade painted by Le Corbusier). In the background, the Camping Units of Le Corbusier © Manuel Bougot - FLC/ADAGP Paris 2017
A period of co-management from 2018 to 2020
To promote the transition, a partnership agreement, signed on December 20, 2017, establishes that the CMN will ensure, from April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2020, the current operation of the site, while the association Cap Moderne will complete the restoration of the site which, from 2014 to 2020, will have required 4.5 million euros financed half by public funding (Regional Directorate of Cultural Affairs South, South Region, Coastal Conservatory, Alpes-Maritimes Department) and half by private patronage.
From April 1st, 2018, the CMN will ensure the opening to the public, part of the cultural and public development, the communication and the tourist promotion, the management of the bookshop-shop and the current maintenance of the spaces open to the visit .
The association Cap Moderne will continue the restoration and enhancement works of which it exercises the delegated project management and will continue to organize cultural events (visits to schools, musical entertainment, conferences) and patronage activities.
The Unités de camping by Le Corbusier (southwest facade) © Manuel Bougot – FLC/ADAGP Paris 2017
From April 2020, the CMN will take care of all the conservation and exploitation missions of the site.
Odile Gauthier, director of the Conservatoire, welcomes the progress made in recent years in the restoration of the site and its opening to the public, thanks to the Cap Moderne Association. The intervention of the Centre des monuments nationaux, a public operator such as the Conservatoire, will make it possible to perpetuate and amplify these advances, serving the territory of the municipality of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, and more broadly, the Alpes-Maritimes department.
Michael Likierman, president of the Association Cap Moderne is convinced that "this agreement will ensure, from 2020, the sustainability of this wonderful site, patiently saved by the Conservatoire du Littoral thanks to the Rebutato family and the city of Roquebrune-Cap Martin. We are proud to have been able to combine the energy and coordination of all the skills that surround us for this restoration and its opening to the delight of the public. We are delighted that the CMN has agreed to continue this mission."
Philippe Bélaval, President of the Centre des monuments nationaux, said that "the decision of the Conservatoire du littoral and the association Cap Moderne comes to recognize the competence acquired by the CMN in the management of monuments emblematic of the architecture of the twentieth century. It adds to the network of the property a UNESCO World Heritage property, and strengthens its already important presence in the Alpes-Maritimes department, opening new perspectives in this area in terms of cultural influence and touristic attractiveness. The CMN is proud to be able to ensure the sustainability of the work carried out by the Conservatoire du littoral and the Cap Moderne association, to which it expresses its gratitude, as well as the services of the Ministry of Culture which facilitated the realization of the operation ".
Le Cabanon by Le Corbusier © Manuel Bougot – FLC/ADAGP Paris 2017
A non-profit law association established in 2014, Cap Moderne was entrusted by the Conservatoire du Littoral with the development and management of tourist, cultural and commercial sites of the Eileen Gray site - Étoile de Mer - Le Corbusier located on the commune from Roquebrune-Cap-Martin.
Born from the merger of the Eileen Gray-Le Corbusier endowment fund and the Eileen Gray- Étoile de Mer -Le Corbusier association, Cap Moderne is chaired by Michael Likierman. Vice President is Magda Rebutato.
In this context, the association Cap Moderne ensures the protection and the maintenance of the site, its buildings and the attached works, ensures the control of work of certain arrangements and works induced by the enhancement of the site, organizes access and openness to the public and cultural programming of the site within the limits compatible with its ecological, landscape and heritage conservation.
The Conservatoire du Littoral
The coastline of our country has always represented strategic, economic, social, health and ecological issues.
On the strength of the value of these issues but also the fragility of this space, France has made the choice to preserve a significant share of natural coastal areas and make them accessible to all. The Conservatoire du littoral was created to acquire, restore and manage these spaces.
In 2017, the Conservatoire and its partners protect and develop nearly 195,000 hectares of this coastal area. This preservation of the natural and cultural heritage of the littoral responds to four main issues: the conservation of spaces whose heritage value engages our responsibility towards future generations; the preservation of a natural and historical capital fundamental for the attractiveness of our territory and for the exercise of many activities including tourism, one of the pillars of the national economy; the social well-being of all by the equitable and shared reception of the populations, fighting against the privatization of this common space; protecting people and property from extreme weather by allowing a buffer between the ocean and human issues, and anticipating the consequences of on-going climate change.
The CMN in a nutshell
Archaeological sites of Glanum and Carnac, abbeys of Montmajour and Mont-Saint-Michel, castles of If and Azay-le-Rideau, national domain of Saint-Cloud, Arc de Triomphe or villas Savoye and Cavrois, constitute some of the 100 national monuments, state property, entrusted to the Centre des monuments nationaux. As the leading public, cultural and tourist operator with nearly 8.6 million visitors a year, the Centre des monuments nationaux retains and opens to visit exceptional monuments and their parks and gardens. They illustrate, by their diversity, the richness of the French heritage.
Based on an adapted tariff policy, the CMN facilitates the discovery of the monumental heritage for all audiences. Its operation is 80% based on its own resources, including attendance, bookstores-shops, space rentals or patronage. Based on an equalization system, the Centre des monuments nationaux is a heritage solidarity actor. The beneficiary monuments allow the realization of cultural and scientific actions on the whole network.
After the opening of the Fort Brégançon in 2014 and the Villa Cavrois restored in 2015, the CMN now manages the Villa Kérylos, property of the Institut de France, and prepares, in Paris, the opening to the visit of the July column for 2018 and the Hôtel de la Marine for 2019.
Monuments under the responsibility of the CMN that are open to visits
Grotte des Combarelles
Abri de Laugerie-Haute
Abri de Cap-Blanc
Grotte de Font-de-Gaume
Site archéologique de Montcaret
Gisement de La Ferrassie
Gisement de La Micoque
Abri du Poisson
Grotte de Teyjat
Gisement du Moustier
Tour Pey-Berland à Bordeaux
Abbaye de La Sauve-Majeure
Grotte de Pair-non-Pair
Château de Cadillac
Château de Puyguilhem
Tours de la Lanterne, Saint-Nicolas
et de la Chaîne à La Rochelle
Abbaye de Charroux
Site gallo-romain de Sanxay
Château de Chareil-Cintrat
Cloître de la cathédrale du Puy-en-Velay
Château de Villeneuve-Lembron
Château de Voltaire à Ferney
Monastère royal de Brou à Bourg-en-Bresse
Trésor de la cathédrale de Lyon
Château de Bussy-Rabutin
Abbaye de Cluny
Chapelle des Moines de Berzé-la-Ville
Cathédrale de Besançon
et son horloge astronomique
Maison d'Ernest Renan à Tréguier
Grand cairn de Barnenez
Sites mégalithiques de Carnac
Site des mégalithes de Locmariaquer
Centre-Val de Loire
Crypte et tour de la cathédrale
Palais Jacques Cœur à Bourges
Tour de la cathédrale
Château de Châteaudun
Château de Bouges
Maison de George Sand à Nohant
Cloître de la Psalette à Tours
Château de Fougères-sur-Bièvre
Château de Talcy
Château de La Motte Tilly
Palais du Tau à Reims
Tours de la cathédrale de Reims
Arc de triomphe
Colonne de Juillet – Place de la Bastille
Domaine national du Palais-Royal
Hôtel de Béthune-Sully
Hôtel de la Marine
Hôtel de Brienne
Musée des Plans-Reliefs
Tours de la cathédrale Notre-Dame
Château de Champs-sur-Marne
Château de Jossigny
Château de Maisons
Villa Savoye à Poissy et sa loge
Domaine national de Rambouillet
Domaine national de Saint-Cloud
Maison des Jardies à Sèvres
Basilique cathédrale de Saint-Denis
Château de Vincennes
Château et remparts de la cité
Tours et remparts d'Aigues-Mortes
Fort Saint-André de Villeneuve-lez-Avignon
Site archéologique et musée d'Ensérune
Forteresse de Salses
Site archéologique de Montmaurin
Château de Castelnau-Bretenoux
Château de Montal
Abbaye de Beaulieu-en-Rouergue
Château de Gramont
Colonne de la Grande Armée à Wimille
Château de Coucy
Château de Pierrefonds
Tours et trésor de la cathédrale d'Amiens
Château de Carrouges
Abbaye du Mont-Saint-Michel
Abbaye du Bec-Hellouin
Maison de Georges Clemenceau
Place forte de Mont-Dauphin
Trophée d'Auguste à La Turbie
Site archéologique de Glanum
Hôtel de Sade
Abbaye de Montmajour
Monastère de Saorge
Cloître de la cathédrale de Fréjus
Abbaye du Thoronet
Fort de Brégançon
Publication date 24 January 2018