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Peter Marino: The Architecture of Chanel

Fashion and architecture are a match made in heaven. Today we’re celebrating the wonderful creative intersection between the architecture of Peter Marino and the aesthetic of fashion-house Chanel. In a new book release entitled The Architecture of Chanel, readers are given a behind-the-scenes look at the buildings designed by Marino for Chanel from New York to Tokyo.


In a world where trends come and go, it’s refreshing to see a 25-year collaboration between two remarkable legends – the fashion house of Chanel and Peter Marino. Marino subsequently has more than 200 Chanel projects under his belt. The Architecture of Chanel is Marino’s oversized, richly illustrated new book with Phaidon. It highlights all 16 of the buildings born out of this alliance – around the world.

The book features 300 stunning images, including architectural plans and original sketches by Marino. Furthermore, it includes an introduction by New York Times and Architectural Digest contributor Pilar Viladas. You can also read an interview by the creator of Pin-Up magazine Felix Burrichter, and project descriptions by local writers, each perfectly placed to subsequently discuss Marino’s work in its geographical context.

A Signature Modern Aesthetic

From sleek white boxes to daring high-rises, each building pairs the architect’s signature modern aesthetic with inspiration taken from the fashion icon. Each building also shares an integration of specially commissioned artwork, subsequently reflecting Marino’s status as a patron of the arts.

Through his dedication to his craft and expert devotion to Coco Chanel’s vision and resolutely modern spirit, Marino has ushered Chanel into a new age. He does so, all while perfecting the always elusive art of the timeless in architecture and design.

“Often it’s based on the original Chanel box,” Marino explains. “We take that little black line and have it outline rectangular shapes in myriad ways.” Pearls, a common Chanel motif, also find their way into Marino’s structures. This takes shape through sculptures by Jean-Michel Othoniel (as famously seen at the 57th Street location in New York).

“Installations with ropes and ropes of pearls give the space a residential-mixed-with-haute-museum atmosphere,” Marino adds.

Constant Innovation

In Tokyo, the architect realized what he calls his most groundbreaking project to date: the Chanel Ginza building. This is distinguished by a cutting-edge LED-embedded curtain wall that transforms into a digital art installation after dark.

His Seoul outpost, meanwhile, stands out for its striking monolithic all-black lava stone. This is combined with resin, and a glass façade representing Chanel style as well as South Korea’s resilient mentality.

“I hope we just keep inventing new forms and shapes with whatever innovative new materials we can come up with,” he concludes. Marino is excited to stay on the cutting edge. “I try to constantly innovate, and the owners of Chanel are always very open to new ideas. I think that’s why this partnership works so well.”



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