Carlos Zapata Studio is an award-winning master planning, architectural design, interior design and furniture design firm whose projects range from professional sports arenas to airport concourses to commercial high rises to private homes. Working on projects around the globe, CZS specializes in finding functional solutions to difficult programmatic issues, while maintaining a commitment to elegance and design excellence.
Before starting his own firm, Carlos most notably served as Design Director of Ellerbe Becket New York, where he led a team of young designers to win design awards in 5 consecutive years from the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, on a variety of projects ranging from a new terminal at JFK International Airport to a high-rise tower at Manhattan’s South Ferry Terminal.
In 1992, with a commission for a private residence and the interior design of a corporate headquarters, Carlos moved to Miami Beach and opened his own firm. The interior design project for the investment firm, JPBT Advisors, was the first completed project of Carlos Zapata Design Studio. It was featured as the cover story of Architectural Record and won Carlos his first National AIA award.
In 1995, Carlos joined Ben Wood to form Wood + Zapata, after having won the competition to design the new Chicago Bears stadium. This asymmetrical solution has become a landmark in Chicago, and is the recipient of numerous awards, including an Illinois Chapter AIA Award and the International Work Award at the Buenos Aires Bienale XII.
In 2003, Carlos and Ben decided to split Wood + Zapata into two separate companies and Carlos moved Carlos Zapata Studio back to our original base of New York City.
CZS has completed numerous high profile projects: the Bitexco Financial Tower, our 68-story commercial skyscraper in Ho Chi Minh City, which, among other awards, was named one of the 20 most iconic skyscrapers in the world by CNN; Concourse J at Miami International Airport, the recipient of the 2008 National AIA Merit Award; ultra luxury residential towers, including the Turnberry Ocean Club in Miami which is in construction, and the recently completed Sculptura Ardmore in Singapore; hotels: the 140-room Standard East in New York City and the award-winning 450-room JW Marriott in Hanoi, as well as mixed use projects around the world.
Most recently, CZS has begun construction on the High Tech Tower, in Luanda, Angola, a 1.1 million square foot mixed use, two tower complex, and celebrated the 2017 opening of our 315,000 square foot expansion to the Aventura Mall in Miami, one of the most successful retail malls in the United States.
CZS has been included in international design exhibitions including Bienal 2009 in Buenos Aires (where our Chicago Bears Stadium won an international design award) and Biennale 2014 in Venice, as well as the prestigious global exhibition, “Evolution in Practice”, in 2015 in Bahrain.
The work of Carlos Zapata Studio has been featured in books and magazines around the world. Carlos himself has received several prestigious awards, including being named by U.S. News & World Report as “Someone to Watch” at the beginning of his career; as well as being selected for the AD 100 by Architectural Digest in 2004, as one of Interior Design magazine’s “30 Under 30” as well as “40 Under 40”.