cc-tapis — An Encounter with Charlotte Perriand

Salone del Mobile, Milan

Photography by Carlotta Gargini

Neatly filed away in the Charlotte Perriand archives in Paris, 6 unpublished colour studies for a series of woven panneaux ouvrants or ‘opening panels’ dated 1972 for the Pierre Blanche building at Les Arcs 1600 ski station have laid untouched for half a century. They are brought to life for the first time as a collection of hand-knotted rugs by cc-tapis, presented on the occasion of Paris Design Week 2023 in an exhibition celebrating Perriand’s unpublished archives and her mastery of colour.

By 1972, the French architect and designer Charlotte Perriand had already consecrated five years of her life to Les Arcs — a sprawling ski station in the French Alps that would become one of the most ambitious projects executed in her lifetime. Composed of multiple stations and complexes, Arc 1600 or Pierre Blanche is the lowest station and was the first to be completed in 1969. It was there that Perriand imagined that these woven textiles would brighten apartments inside and out, however fate had other plans. Faced with the rising costs of the project, Perriand had no choice but to cast aside these decorative additions in favour of permanent furnishings and other more pressing design elements.

Charlotte Perriand imagined each colour-blocked illustration with a central panel of fine, equidistant vertical stripes bifurcating contrasting colour fields to the left and right. Her colours — from light ‘antelope’ brown and ‘abeille’ yellow to bright ‘amiral’ blue and ‘azalée’ pink — are very much her own, interpreted at times from Le Corbusier’s Salubra paint colour cards or simply lifted from her palette of French and Japanese crayons and oil pastels.

Photography by Marcelo Gomes

Initiated by Pernette Perriand Barsac in partnership with cc-tapis, the Les Arcs Collection respects the ‘grand format’ and ‘petit format’ colour proportions outlined by Perriand in her technical drawings, reproducing the 6 designs in 3 sizes: the 300 × 400 cm ‘grand format’, the 230 × 300 cm ‘petit format’, and the 100 × 350 cm runner. Coloured in 12 assorted shades precisely marked out in the borders of each sketch, these documents form a blueprint for each hand- knotted rug crafted from 100% Himalayan wool by Tibetan artisans in Nepal. They are a testament to Perriand’s lifelong passion for artisanal craft — from Japanese lacquer work to line block printing — and combine multiple natural dyeing processes with hand-knotting and carding.

From the 17th to 22nd of January, the Les Arcs collection of rugs is displayed on the 1st floor of the Galerie Les Filles du Calvaire on the occasion of Paris Design Week, with an accompanying exhibition of archival objects and illustrations by Charlotte Perriand shown on the ground floor. Exploring the designer’s use of colour throughout her artistic studies and career, the exhibition includes personal effects and little-known early illustrations from the late 1920s. They demonstrate her inherent understanding of colour as a harmonious graphic device applied far beyond the primary colours so synonymous with her collaborative creations with Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret, and Jean Prouvé.

Alongside the 6 original technical drawings, 3 watercolours from the late 1920s safeguarded by Perriand’s mother demonstrate her artistic prowess from a young age, with oniric landscapes and a playful costume study that pay homage to her Art Deco education under the tutelage of Henri Rapin and Maurice Dufrêne. Furthermore, Perriand’s tools and working samples offer a privileged glimpse at the designer’s process, including crayons and oil pastels, carpet samples for the Residence de l’Ambassadeur du Japon in Paris (1966—69), and colour studies for the Unité d’Habitation Air France in Brazzaville, Congo (1952).

Photography by Marcelo Gomes

Photography by Marcelo Gomes

Photography by Marcelo Gomes

The booklet An Encounter with Charlotte Perriand is now available via select retailers and at the cc-tapis exhibition during Salone del Mobile 2023.

Curator: Dan Thawley
Graphic identity: Eibhlín Albert-Doran Catalogue
Imagery: Marcelo Gomes
Scent design: Barnabé Fillion
Media Partner: A Magazine Curated By
Brand strategy & communication: P:S
Press Enquiries:
Special thanks to Pernette Perriand Barsac & Jacques Barsac




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