The recipient of the France highest honor ‘Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres’ for his contribution to architecture and design. The rich history of art and traditional craftsmanship of France has a great impact on Charles Zana. This fascination for history is the main inspiration for many of his works.
After taking experience in firms and studios in New York and Paris he founded his firm ‘Charles Zana Architects’ in 1990. He had worked on an array of residential, scenography, furniture, and commercial projects.
1. Grenelle, Paris
This private apartment is owned by Charles Zana. As an admirer of Ettore Sottsass, he has decorated the interior of the apartment with Memphis-style art and furniture. Collections of the works by Andrea Branzi, founder of Archizoom are also included in this project.
Charles Zana is known for his bold combinations. This project is a good example of that. The unusual mixture of furniture and interior still comes together to give an identity to space. With the background of mint walls the colorful, bold object creates an interesting impact on the interior.
2. Paris home
Charles Zana’s work doesn’t only revolve around art and designs. His work also depends on the lifestyle of the client. This project is a good example of that.
This property is in the Parisian suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine. It’s a house of a fashion-industry couple and their four children. The clients themselves were art collectors.
Every part of this house is introduced with the art pieces it’s showcasing. The furniture, light fixtures, carpets, texture, and color combinations choices are such that the arrangement compliments the artwork while creating a cozy space for the everyday life of the client.
3. Villa Cologny, Switzerland
The main idea behind the design was to create a feeling of openness by bringing in the natural light and offering a view of the landscape outside designed by Jacques Wirtz. Charles Zana has designed the interior in such a way that the color and texture of the interior spaces will bring out the green view of the landscape outside. Proving one more time how his interior is structured around people.
4. Le Marianne
This is a four-star hotel in rue Paul Baudry. The structure is in Haussmannian style. Charles Zana has emphasized his work on making it welcoming, warm, and cozy.
Charles Zana has used the work of well-known artists in this project. For example, chairs designed by Fornasetti, chandeliers in gilded brass designed by the artist Johana Grawunder, etc.
Rooms are furnished like a cozy cocoon, a cozy armchair, curtains in warm shades give the warm welcoming feeling which helps people to relax.
Walls are painted in somber hues. Combinations like Leather and velvet in shades of emerald blue and gold, finely veined gray flooring, headboards covered with Pierre Frey fabrics make the space look sophisticated.
5. David Mallett salon
The design intended to combine the French and American cultures. Giving the feeling of both the traditional and modern era.
The structure is a 17th-century hôtel particulier in Paris constructed in cast-iron. The long brass framed marble table and the metal trimmed mirrors are examples of the industrial finishes of Charles Zana in honor of this structure.
As a complement to these industrial finishes, the 17th-century imported parquet floor gives off the traditional Parisian feeling.
The furniture and other interior elements are arranged in such a way that they give the sense of warmth and privacy of home. For example, Dedar curtains on the window, Eero Saarinen’s 1955 tulip chairs for Knoll as the salon seats, etc.
6. Hôtel Lou Pinet
The interior of the structure before Charles Zana started working on it, had an Asian-themed interior. Charles Zana wanted to revive the original style of the structure. Idea was to recreate the old Saint-Tropez style. As a result, all the existing interior was removed.
The choice of material and complete change in the interior atmosphere is what makes this project unique.
Wooden objects mixed with terracotta and ceramic tiles, the customized furniture reviving the French Riviera spirit, the lava stone table, use of rattan and natural material such as pine, etc are the few characteristics of this project.
A huge fresco inspired by Saint-Tropez drawings and provincial colors was created by French artist Alexandre Benjamin Navet.
7. Hôtel Royal Opéra
The Hôtel Royal Opéra is situated in a prime location in the heart of Paris. It is close to historic and tourist attractions like Champs Elysées, the Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay, etc.
Like most of Charles Zana’s works, this project is an art piece with classicism, modernity, and emotion combined.
The interior is luxurious yet sophisticated. The warm welcoming and intimate environment are created with the help of a cluster of round tables and chairs in contemporary fashion. The color scheme of yellow, brown, and white render spaces in a comfortable and harmonious environment.
8. Café Artcurial
The café is situated on the most famous street in Paris, Champs-Élysées. The area is surrounded by historic monuments and architecture of great value. The main challenge behind this project was to create a space for people which will stand out without harming the surrounding views of the street. The result is a blend of sophisticated and tranquil ambiance.
The glass roof offers natural ventilation and light. The dark shades of wood, fabric, and leather panels balance the light. After the sunsets, the carefully picked pendant lighting from Azucena brightens up space into stylish yet comfortable diners and a sober environment.
The last touch is given by adding artifices carefully picked to preserve the rich heritage of the space.
Architect Charles Zana is known for his fondness towards geniuses in art and architectural history. He has collected many exceptional workspaces.
The Utopia exhibition curated by Charles Zana is a dialog between the works of the most celebrated artists in Italy during the ’50s to ’70s period. The exhibition showcases forty works of these artists. These exceptional works comprise pieces of art, design, and furniture.
The exhibition is conducted in the Tornabuoni Art gallery. It was founded in 1981 and specializes in post-war Italian art.
Furniture by Gaetano Pesce, Ettore Sottsass, and Carlo Mollino. Fine artworks by Lucio Fontana, Alighiero Boetti, and even Giorgio de Chirico are a few examples of the works showcased in this exhibition.
According to Charles Zana:
“Utopia is a force of change, of movement, and a radical breach with an existing system. And that is what Italian artists and designers proposed in the ’70s and ’80s.”
DIALOGO was an exhibition curated by Charles Zana in Olivetti Boutique Paris. The exhibition was conducted on the occasion of the 57th Venice Biennale. The exhibition is a dialog between the works of two big contributors to Italy’s design history, Carlo Scarpa and Ettore Sottsass.
Charles Zana has staged Ettore Sottsass’s artwork in the spaces created by Carlo Scarpa. This exhibition is also a tribute to Ettore Sottsass on the occasion of the centenary of his birth.