All clad in buckled leather pants, biker boots, and harnessed up with bondage straps across his torso, Peter Marino doesn’t appear to be your typical architect. The lines between fashion, interiors and art continue to blur as time goes by, and so it’s no surprise that one of the architectural industry’s most recognised and influential figures would have success in conceptualising some of the world’s most notable high fashion retail spectacles. He’s also worked on a number of hotel penthouses/ presidential suites and numerous private residential projects worldwide. Most retail spaces are viewed by brands as an opportunity to market the ‘experience’ of what the label is about- a bonus in having a stand-alone boutique with a visible shop-front. So extreme has retail design become, that many stores are now a tourist destination. I remember visiting the Prada store on Rodeo Drive back in 2007, and being completely overwhelmed by it’s brilliance. It was so vast, so balanced, so fresh in it’s layout and design that it felt like I was encountering something new- it seemed no expense had been spared, and I was sold on the Prada experience.
The number of awards he’s won and his level of prestige contributes to the success of an architect like Peter Marino. Each label that he and his staff of 160 work with, some examples which include premium luxury fashion houses like CHANEL, Louis Vuitton, Zegna and Loewe, get the complete Marino treatment; a stunning fashion statement through beautiful design, a fresh approach to use of modern materials fixtures and fittings, an experience true to the brands’ heritage and an impressively high bar set for architectural retail space standards. Think grand curved staircases surrounding a gigantic pendant of clustered lights representing a pearl necklace, the fusion of raw finishes like wood or rattan flanked by traditional stonework, a reflective metallic wall feature spanning the full height of a four story staircase, floor to ceiling shelving, or LED screens displaying the work of upcoming artists.
The Melbourne Chanel boutique in Flinders Lane had its alterations entrusted to Peter Marino, and two days ago the new store was opened with an additional floor and the creation of a roof top garden. To celebrate the opening of the boutique, a limited edition Boy CHANEL handbag has been specifically designed by Karl Lagerfeld for the occasion with the Melbourne customer in mind.
Source: petermarinoarchitect.com, CHANEL, fashion.telegraph.co.uk