Almost a quarter of a century after her passing, Charlotte Perriand’s work still commands attention. Six original drawings by the prodigious French architect and designer have been translated into a new collection of hand-knotted rugs by CC-Tapis, presented in an exhibition during Paris Design Week 2023.
Charlotte Perriand spent 70 years contributing to the fields of furniture, photography and architecture in an illustrious career, encompassing her revolutionary 20th-century furniture to public buildings. One of Perriand’s most ambitious built-form projects was Les Arcs, a 1960s ski resort in the French Alps. The design comprised four villages and pushed the boundaries of prefabrication while having a minimal visual impact on the mountains.
Perriand created six technical drawings for Les Arcs, intended to be brought to life as a series of woven textiles. Each illustration features a panel of stripes with contrasting blocks of colour on either side. The combinations, from light ‘antelope’ brown and ‘abeille’ yellow to bright ‘amiral’ blue and ‘azalée’ pink, were interpreted by Perriand at times from her long-term collaborator Le Corbusier’s Salubra paint colour cards or lifted from her palette of French and Japanese crayons and oil pastels. However, the designs were sadly never realised due to budget constraints.
Half a century later, Milan-based company CC-Tapis and Perriand’s daughter, Pernette, have released the Les Arcs collection – a series of hand-knotted rugs that respect the colour proportions specified in the original sketches.
The designs come in three sizes: the 300 x 400 cm grand format, the 230 x 300 cm petit format, and the 100 x 350 cm runner. Available in 12 assorted shades, precisely noted in Perriand’s drawings, each rug is made using 100% Himalayan wool by Tibetan artisans in Nepal–a testament to Perriand’s lifelong passion for artisanal crafts.
Les Arcs was revealed for the first time at Galerie Les Filles du Calvaire during 2023 Paris Design Week, with an accompanying exhibition of archival objects and illustrations. The exhibition celebrated Perriand's use of colour throughout her artistic studies and career. Furthermore, Perriand's tools and working samples offered a rare glimpse into her process, including crayons and oil pastels.
The Les Arcs collection will be available at Mobilia. Preview the collection online here.
The colour combinations were interpreted by Perriand at times from her long-term collaborator Le Corbusier’s Salubra paint colour cards or lifted from her palette of French and Japanese crayons and oil pastels.