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Ettore Sotsass fills the classic Paris apartment of French architect Charles Zana

The home seamlessly brings together art and architecture

A ceramic stands in the corner of an intricate living room with molding and trim, marble fireplace, and tall French doors among a collection of modern furniture and artwork.
An original Ettore Sotsass totem from 1965 stands in the corner by Sotsass console and a Carlo Mollino armchair and stool.
Photos by Henry Bourne courtesy of T: The New York Times Style Magazine

French designer and architect Charles Zana has decorated his classic 18th-century Paris apartment with some extraordinary modern art and furniture. Taking center stage, though, are three glazed ceramic totems by Memphis founder Ettore Sottsass, whose work Zana has been collecting for over 15 years.

In a tour of his home for T: The New York Times Style Magazine, Zana explains his admiration for the radical Italian architect: ‘‘He changed everything. He was really the first person to entirely inhabit that most interesting place between art and architecture.’’

Zana’s work also seems to occupy this in-between world, as evidenced by his Rue de Grenelle home, which seamlessly integrates works by Sottsas—including rare prototypes from the ’60s and ’70s and pieces from the ’90s—alongside lamps by Andrea Branzi, furniture by Carlo Mollino, and pieces that Zana himself designed.

And while Zana considers himself to be a ‘‘bohemian sort of collector,” he refuses to treat his home like a museum: ‘‘I always thought it was absurd to treat things as though they were suddenly so delicate and valuable when that wasn’t how they started.’’

Still, it’s hard not to see Zana’s apartment as the perfect distillation of art and architecture coming together, even if he claims that he “would rather be alive with beauty than living in a museum, with things under glass.”

For the full story, head on over to T.

Courtesy of T: The New York Times Style Magazine