There’s a brand new addition to the exceptional modern and contemporary art circuit in the south of France: the Fondation CAB, located in Saint-Paul-de-Vence. The new foundation is an offshoot of the Brussels non-profit art centre of the same name, dedicated to conceptual and minimalist art. CAB’s founder, businessman Hubert Bonnet, was looking for a second address, and fell for this 1950s-era former art gallery with modernist architecture, sensuous white curves and large bay windows.
The French architect Charles Zana renovated the space, adding a travertine reception desk, a bookshop-boutique, four guest rooms, a restaurant, and a lounge where you can flip through art books or just gaze out at artist Richard Long’s circle of white stones in the grass.
The art starts the moment you step through the front door, where Felice Varini has painted an installation of four orange circles. A series of rooms display works from Bonnet’s collection, including Carl Andre, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Donald Judd and Dan Flavin. These are complemented by revolving temporary exhibitions – the opening show, ‘Structures of Radical Will’, combines minimalist pieces from the 1960s and 1970s with in situ works by contemporary artists.
Zana added four guest rooms to the foundation, each one unique and furnished with vintage 20th century pieces: a Charlotte Perriand table, Jean Prouvé chairs, an Alvar Aalto lamp, and Le Corbusier headboards that also serve as storage space and room separators. Zana says he worked closely with Bonnet on the design: ‘We imagined guest rooms we would like to stay in if we were in the Côte d’Azur.’ The pièce de résistance is a 6mx6m demountable Prouvé house, perched between two koi ponds in the garden. Surprisingly, it is available to rent on booking.com (for about €800 a night).
Guests can take their breakfast in the foundation’s restaurant, the SOL, designed by Zana with benches and an accordion bar in the same creamy travertine used for Rome’s Piazza Navona fountain. On the wall, a Sol LeWitt artwork echoes the grid of the windows, with a view of Cap d’Antibes shimmering in the distance.
From: Wallpaper* Magazine
✅ free Wi-Fi • size matters: 5 rooms & suites (24-40m2) (258-431 sq ft) • hotel opened: 2021 • architecture & interior design: Charles Zana • street parking • no pets allowed