Jean Badovici

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Jean Badovici (6 January 1893 – 17 August 1956) was a French architect of Romanian origin and architecture critic active in Paris.


Born in Bucharest, Romania, Jean Badovici studied architecture in Paris after World War I. Since 1923 he edited the important French magazine for avantgarde architecture L'Architecture Vivante. Furthermore, he designed two buildings (residential houses for himself) in Vézelay (1924) and in Paris near Pont de Sèvres (1934). In Roquebrune-Cap-Martin he assisted Eileen Gray - they were lovers until 1932 - in designing and constructing a home for them, one of the important buildings of the International style, E-1027.[1]

After World War II Badovici was involved in reconstructing and saving the architectural heritage of France [2] in a board called Bâtiments civils et palais nationaux et des monuments historiques. There he served as assistant to the chief architect Robert Édouard Camelot (1903–1992).[3]

L’Architecture Vivante[edit]

Jean Badovici gained reputation not for constructing buildings but for analyzing and supporting avantgarde architecture. He was an influential critic and mentor of international modern architecture in France since he began editing the magazine L'architecture Vivante in 1923. He convinced the publisher Albert Morancé of the importance for such an avantgarde magazine which ran from 1923 till 1933. L’Architecture Vivante became immediately an influential mouthpiece of the International style (Bauhaus, Constructivism, De Stijl). Le Corbusier - a friend of Badovici - for instance became one of the architects whose ideals were frequently discussed in this magazine. Badovici cultivated relations to European avantgarde magazines like Wendingen (Netherlands) and Cahiers d’Art (France, founded in 1926) of his friend Christian Zervos.

Regularly each issue of L’Architecture Vivante presented a number of architects and their works but there were also some very few dealing with just one artist (Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret and in 1929 Eileen Gray and her home E-1027).[4][5]

Personal life[edit]

He lived with his lover Eileen Gray, who was openly bisexual, in E 1027. Le Corbusier vandalized the wall by his drawing Three Women depicting Eileen and Jean together, even though he was not "granted full authorization". He didn't think of it as "an invasion, but as a gift." (From "Battle Lines"- Beatriz Colomina)

L’Architecture Vivante in libraries[edit]

In the United States (excerpts):

In Europe (excerpts):

Reeditions L’Architecture Vivante[edit]

The issue concerning Eileen Gray / E.1027:

  • Eileen Gray, Jean Badovici: E. 1027: Maison en bord de mer. In L’Architecture Vivante. Reedition Éd. Imbernon, Marseille 2006, ISBN 2-9516396-5-1.

The complete edition:

  • L'Architecture vivante, Da Capo Press, New York, c 1975