How Peter Marino shaped the architecture of Chanel

Lauren Jade Hill: How does your fine arts education define your approach to architecture?

Pierre Marin: It made me more sensitive to aspects like color, texture and the human visual perception of things, rather than what I can say is typical architecture. It’s a really different approach.

LJH: How has the design of Chanel boutiques evolved over the years?

PM: The brand aims to be modern and timeless, so in theory it should never go out of fashion in our stores. That said, we are picking places – look at the new in Miami – that will be more modern and fun than what we might do in London or New York. Just like you’re not going to sell winter coats in Miami, we’re not going to have the same architecture everywhere we go.

Peter Marino in front of YZ Kami’s A portrait of Coco Chanel (1993).

LJH: What makes the new Miami Design District outpost different?

PM: It’s a big white cube with cubic windows and a huge volume inside, much bigger in that sense than almost any other I’ve made. It has an exhilarating staircase under a skylight, because the sun in Miami is something you really want to highlight, and it’s all the more striking since we only used black and white. We usually have a lot more colors, but this building has a younger, more daring vibe.

LJH: What sets Chanel apart?

PM: It has a sort of modernity that never goes out of style – and the same can’t be said of many other brands.

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