Peter Marino Architect Transforms the Cheval Blanc Paris
2021 Best of Year winner for Hotel Transformation
In the late 1920s, architect Henri Sauvage oversaw completion of a large art deco building for Parisian department store Samaritaine. A century later, the building was reimagined for LVMH, including a portion transformed into the luxury hotel Cheval Blanc Paris by Interior Design Hall of Fame member Peter Marino. The 172,000-square-foot property, which encompasses 72 rooms and suites, is respectful of the structure’s history and site but maintains a modern edge in an ever-changing city. “We transformed it without disregarding the existing heritage,” Marino explains. “The work of French artists and artisans was integrated into every aspect.”
Flooring in the main lobby incorporates four different stones in a design inspired by parquet de Versailles, offset by Vik Muniz’s contemporary 12-feet-high renditions of the Eiffel Tower, which are in turn flanked by custom gold-and-bronzed screens. Off the lobby in one of the four restaurants, Marino’s crimson chairs and banquettes play against dramatic wooden walls inlaid with shell. Linking levels, an elegant stone stair wraps around a rusted-steel sculpture by Tony Cragg. Below, a 100-foot swimming pool features custom mosaic tiles and walls of Bianco Sivec marble. Paris architect Édouard François led the building’s exterior architecture, including restoration of the historic facade, and helped create breathtaking vistas in every space. The views became central to the design experience created by Marino, including in another restaurant’s mezzanine, where guests can dine while gazing out at Pont Neuf.
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