Peter Marino is the principal of Peter Marino Architect PLLC, an internationally acclaimed architecture, planning and design firm founded in 1978 and based in New York City, however with several offices around US, like Philadelphia, Miami and so on. Marino’s Design contributions in the worldwide, emphasizing materiality, texture, scale light and the constant dialogue between interior and exterior. He is widely known for his residential and retail designs for the most iconic names in the fashion and art worlds. Notable and recently completed retail projects include Ermemegildo Zegna flagships in Paris, Milan, New York, Tokyo and Shangai; Chanel boutiques in Paris, New York and Singapore and so much more! Also notable hospitality projects including the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in Sardina, and Four Seasons Resort in Santa Barbara. Currently Peter Marino is designing numerous private residences aournd the world, including London, Paris and Palm Beach.
Marino has been an architect for a long time—ever since he graduated from Cornell’s College of Architecture, Art, and Planning in 1971. But it’s never been quite like this: Marino has become the No. 1 designer of the luxury landscape, the man who best understands how to move a customer on any continent through salons full of leather and lipstick and straight to the register. He knows how to work for any number of competitors—walk down 57th Street near Fifth Avenue: That’s Marino’s Vuitton, Marino’s Chanel, Marino’s Christian Dior—while keeping the brand identities intact and the sales figures brisk. Luxury, after all, has had a banner year despite absolutely everything else, and Marino is delighted. “Using ‘the Pedro’ produces very large profits,” says Marino, referring to himself, wagging a finger that is covered, like all the rest of his fingers, in an enormous silver ring. He agrees that luxury is on fire these days, and, he says, “I feel very much a part of that growth“.
Situated on the ground floor of a late 19th-century building, the new Dior store features an interior design by Peter Marino. The retail setting may take glamorous cues from the brand’s iconic mothership on avenue Montaigne in Paris, but retains much of the buildings original elements, albeit luxed up and adapted to Marino’s highly modern design scheme.
Coco Chanel’s Paris apartment figures prominently in her legendary brand’s history. Located in the same rue Cambon building as the designer’s couture salon and atelier, the flat was an exotic retreat filled with artwork by friends like Jacques Lipchitz and Salvador Dalí, as well as furnishings and objets that featured some of the enduring motifs identified with her namesake label: the iron double C’s and 5’s that graced a crystal chandelier, the inlaid camellias on a set of 18th-century Coromandel screens. See the splendid interiors designed by Peter Marino below.
If Marino’s personal style is specific and indelible, his architecture and interiors are much harder to pin down. Marino’s boutiques do not instantly assault with their “Marino-ness”. Like NY Mag wrote, inside a Marino space, it’s all smooth-moving luxury, where drawers and doors close in perfect silence, and the elevator button is weirdly satisfying to push. They are well and flatteringly lit and, like Marino’s office, full of eclectic collections of art. They feel rich and full and calm.
Marino’s most important aesthetic motivation may be his claustrophobia. “Dude,” he says, “I can’t even take a shower.” Marino lives in a colossal apartment on the far eastern side of 57th Street. Because of his claustrophobia, Marino’s first mission with any space is to open it up and access all available natural light. “Ask any woman,” he says. “I asked my wife. She has a very humanistic take on things, and she’s like, ‘You need light.’ Look, I believe that women would crawl across broken glass to get a cool pair of shoes. But if you want to have a nice time, you need natural light.
“Nine out of nine architects start with a sketch and then they say, ‘What should we make it out of?’ ” Marino says. “I start from the bottom up, what should it be made out of, and then I worry about what should it look like. The material, the color of the material, the way it feels, and the way you respond to it is every bit as valid as the form or the shape.”
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