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Peter Marino brings glamour to Aria Resort & Casino

The architect designed the high-limits gaming areas and luxury suites at the Las Vegas complex.

January 03, 2010|By Valli Herman | Reporting from Las Vegas

Sin has a sophisticated new look. Peter Marino, the high-society architect known for designing the Chanel and Fendi boutiques in Beverly Hills and the Presidential Suites at the Four Seasons Hotel New York, put his luxurious spin on the most exclusive areas of the Aria Resort & Casino.

The New York-based architect designed the high-limits gaming areas at Aria and the ultra-luxe VIP Sky Suites that span Floors 58 and 59 in the resort's south tower. The suites weren't finished for the Dec. 16 grand opening, and thus not every part of the project had met with the Marino team's approval "due to a plethora of contractual reasons," said Catherine Philbin, a spokeswoman.

Blueprints reveal Marino hasn't spared his signature mix of indulgence and refinement. Plans call for suites of up to 7,500 square feet that may include distinct rooms for billiards, massage and exercise, as well as a hair salon, library, curving staircases and bars with panoramic views. That's in addition to materials not usually found in hotels, such as eco-certified exotic woods, lush fabrics and cutting-edge artwork.

Upon arrival at the Sky Suites, high rollers are embraced in a Marino-made world. The lobby's entry hallway pulls guests visually along its undulating wall of stainless-steel pipes that reflect the glowing golden wall behind them. Guests check in at the private Sky Suites desk that's topped with thick onyx slabs.

In the deep recesses of the high-stakes gambling areas, Marino's first-ever casino project evokes a glamorous Ft. Knox. Walls of intricately textured plaster shimmer from their gilded coating and reflect the brilliant sheen of an oval dining table that can easily seat a dozen.

Outside the lobby, a complex-patterned floor, nicknamed "the spine," was designed to impart a feeling of movement "that makes you feel like part of a progression leading you to gamble," said an architect associated with the project. The spine connects several high-limit gaming venues that Marino lavished with golden accents and architecture that looks like an explosion frozen in time. The walls of translucent orange glass shards on the adjacent Carta Privada also allow a peek into the action in the VIP gaming lounge.

Marino, who also designed the Louis Vuitton and Ermenegildo Zegna fashion boutiques at the Crystals shopping center, brought something surprising and rare to the casino: sunshine. Oval skylights in the ceiling flood the casino floor with natural light, allowing sinning and winning to see the light of day.

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