When viewing one of Peter Marino’s recent projects—say, the Dior flagship in Paris—one might not realize the architect is a maximalist. Accumulated over more than 40 years, his vast art collection includes everything from Roman antiquities to Basquiats. Housed in Southampton’s former Rogers Memorial Library, the new Peter Marino Art Foundation brings this eclectic selection under one roof to be enjoyed by all. Luxe caught up with Marino to chat restoration, roses and what’s in store on Jobs Lane.
You’ve lived in Southampton for over 25 years. How does the foundation fit within the town’s cultural evolution?
Hauser & Wirth, Phillips, and Christie’s all moved in recently. They’re perfectly positioned for the sophisticated summer crowd. I established the foundation to showcase my collection and mount rotating exhibitions of the contemporary talent I collect. It’s a house museum that reflects my tastes.
Take us through the renovation.
The building is significant for the time it represents. I think we need to be more respectful of architectural heritage. Nobody would treat a painting from 1895 badly, yet it’s okay to misuse architecture for some reason. I wanted to find an adaptive reuse for this building, so I put my money where my mouth was and preserved the exterior. The interior, however, is a personal architectural statement complete with Venetian stucco and leather-clad walls.
Given your love of gardens, how did you address the grounds?
We planted five rose varieties—hundreds of them—along the building’s brick façade to create a real wow moment for passersby. All are dark red roses, the official flower of Southampton.
How are you hoping to involve the community and what do you want audiences to experience?
We are creating connections and sharing resources with institutions in the area, such as Dia Bridgehampton and Guild Hall in East Hampton. We’ve also worked with a town trustee to bring in local students to engage with the exhibitions. Overall, I aim to demonstrate that art can express individuality and doesn’t need to represent a specific typology or period to be good.