Architectural Digest

Michael Shvo and Peter Marino Bring Les Lalanne to the Raleigh Gardens in Miami

Jan 24, 2020
les lalannes

“A month ago this was all dirt,” says real estate developer Michael Shvo, standing in the Raleigh’s new gardens, just off Collins Avenue in Miami Beach. That’s hard to believe given the more than 150 species of flora, many of them native to Florida, that now form a lush tableau. But Shvo (who recently bought the iconic hotel, currently closed for renovations) transformed the grounds in a matter of weeks, enlisting the help of AD100 maestro Peter Marino and landscape architect Raymond Jungles. “We create gardens that look like they’ve always existed,” says the aptly named Jungles. His foliage currently serves as a backdrop to 32 sculptures by the late French couple Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne, which were unveiled on the eve of Art Basel Miami Beach, late this past November, and will remain on view through February. A large bronze monkey gazes at the ocean; a flock of François-Xavier’s famous sheep grazes; and a defiant ram stands atop a pile of rocks. “I like to tuck them away into shady corners,” says Marino, who hid Claude’s Lit Singerie, a copper-and-bronze bed crawling with monkeys, past a thick cluster of Mexican palms. “Les Lalanne appeal to everybody—to art collectors, to people who know nothing about art, to children,” says Shvo, glancing over at his young daughter, perched, as if on cue, atop Claude’s shimmering bronze Pomme