81°F
weather icon Clear

Meet the valley’s leading residential architects, designers — PHOTOS

Updated June 4, 2018 - 11:18 am

Eight of the leading Las Vegas luxury architects, builders and residential designers talk about the recent home design trends and how the modern style is replacing Tuscan and Mediterranean styles in the valley. Most have embraced the popular modern look that has become common in new luxury home communities.

Quinn Boesenecker, Pinnacle Architectural Studio

The 46-year-old started his company more than 19 years ago and has done projects in Ascaya, Summit Club, MacDonald Highlands and The Ridges. He said contemporary is where it’s at today.

However, he’s not done with Tuscan design, since one client from Texas wants a Tuscan home in Lake Las Vegas because that’s what the client feels the most comfortable with.

“I used to love that style, and it was very successful for us, but people are looking for something different,” Boesenecker said. “Contemporary is taking over now. And the style we’re doing here, they want in California.”

Dan Coletti, Sun West Custom Homes

Coletti said his design-build company has created more than 500 custom homes in Summerlin, Henderson and the rest of the valley over the past 30 years. He said he’s seen how Tuscan homes have lost their popularity over the last three to five years. People want more contemporary homes in which he uses glass, wood and stone.

“They are timeless,” said Coletti, 54. “Wood has been used forever. Natural stones are the same way, and glass fits together. When you put those three elements together, it’s everlasting. I’m known for designing pools with every house, and I integrate the pool and water features. Our signature is the indoor-outdoor living space integrated with water.”

Coletti said he’s done his share of Tuscan-style homes but has no regrets because they were beautiful styles, and they were popular with customers for many years. He said the Mediterranean style in Las Vegas was influenced by California, but the city is large enough to create its own style that has a desert feel.

“Tuscan is definitely in the past,” Coletti said. “Will it come around again? It could take a long time. I think right now we are getting closer to what should be built than ever in our past. Our architectural themes are finally matching our desert environment. We’re creating a lot of open glass areas where you can view out to the natural desert surroundings and mountains beyond.”

Michael Gardner, studio g Architecture

The 39-year old started his firm at the end of 2010 upon moving to Las Vegas from California. His company also works on hotels and design work inside high-rises. He has strong views on what he saw with Southern Nevada residential architecture.

“I wouldn’t call it architecture,” Gardner said. “I would have called it stucco architecture. Las Vegas has been very good about doing thematic architecture and replicating other places. I was fairly disappointed in generally what we had. Everything was made with stucco.”

Gardner, who’s done projects in MacDonald Highlands, The Ridges and other luxury communities, said some of the younger architects, like himself, have tried to “push and elevate the level of design, and it starts by creating a unique piece of architecture” in Vegas homes.

“We’re in a transition period,” Gardner said. “We went from Mediterranean period to all-out contemporary boxes to now the design is more unique and individualized.”

Gardner said he’s worked on homes using rammed earth and that it’s better to use more natural materials than the “harsh feel of stucco,” which has been a standard in Las Vegas.

“I think we’re really starting to grow up,” Gardner said. “I think one of the challenges from a design standpoint is we have the Strip, where the mentality is to shock and awe with design and throw everything at you, because you’re trying to put everybody in sensory overload. That is what Vegas has been known for in the design world, and now we’re starting to see a level of sophistication and refinement.”

C.J. Hoogland, Hoogland Architecture

The 42-year-old was born and raised in Las Vegas and started his own firm in 2011. He has designed homes in The Ridges, Summit and Ascaya, and most are priced between $3 million and $6 million.

“We do modern designs and very clean lines and tend to erase the boundaries between indoor and outdoor,” Hoogland said.

Before the wave of Tuscan and Mediterranean homes, there was a ranch style wave, Hoogland said.

“I think the architecture we like to do is very clear and clean, so you understand at first glance the overall concept of the house,” Hoogland said.

“We’re not trying to add gingerbread or decorate our homes. We are trying to create serene and peaceful spaces. I don’t feel this pseudo-Mediterranean or pseudo-Tuscan architecture is true architecture. The American home, if you break it down, has not really changed much at all in the last 100 years.”

Tyler Jones, Blue Heron Design-Build

The 40-year-old has been exposed to the industry his entire life, starting with his dad, who was a local custom homebuilder. He’s worked with architects since he was in high school and started his own company 14 years ago.

Jones built three modernistic homes to be showcased by the National Association of Home Builders when it holds its convention in Las Vegas next year after spending three years in Orlando. He said Southern Nevada has been lost for a long time architecturally, but that started to change a decade ago. The Tuscan, Mediterranean and even Spanish styles don’t make sense for Las Vegas, he said.

Historically, architectural styles tend to develop over hundreds of years and in response to a climate, culture and geographic area, Jones said. A Tuscan farmhouse is built with local materials.

“We’re one of the youngest major cities in the country, so we haven’t had but a couple of years to evolve our own style or come up with a true architectural vernacular that fits Las Vegas in our time and place,” Jones said. “For us, that’s what our Vegas Modern is doing — looking closely at our climate and build an appropriate style in response to the extreme heat and sunshine you get.”

That includes designing homes for shading and allowing indirect natural sunlight so there doesn’t have to be a lot of lights on, Jones said. There’s a heavy use of glass, and the architectural form is determined by whether a home faces north or west and by how the sun moves across the sky.

“We have a strong indoor-outdoor relationship, because that is a lifestyle thing,” Jones said. “The climate is beautiful here. Even though it’s hot in the summer, there are ways to create some pleasant outdoor living spaces and integrate those seamlessly with the indoor spaces.”

Blue Heron has built in The Ridges, Southern Highlands, MacDonald Highlands, Seven Hills, Ascaya, Anthem and Lake Las Vegas. It’s constructed about 150 homes.

“We’re not trying to make homes that respond to the 15th-century Tuscan farmhouse but homes that respond to the 2018 lifestyle in Las Vegas,” Jones said. “Vegas Modern is going to have some fun elements and is going to have that drama and theatrical quality that makes us Las Vegas.”

Richard Luke, Richard Luke Architects

Luke is the veteran in the design scene in Las Vegas, having started his firm 32 years ago in 1986 after he moved to Southern Nevada from Australia. The 64-year-old has done luxury homes throughout the valley.

Luke said he started his career in Australia doing modern and contemporary designs and didn’t learn Mediterranean and Tuscan styles until he moved to Nevada.

“Now, I’m right back to where I started,” Luke said. “I think it was America’s love affair with Europe that was the style demanded in the 1980s. They identified a classy home as Mediterranean style, and everyone wanted to emulate that. I grew to like it and appreciate it, but it’s nice to get back to contemporary and strip down all the façade and let the bones of the architecture speak for itself instead of dressing it up with lipstick. We’re growing up and getting more contemporary and modern.”

Luke credits the influence of Howard Hughes Corp., the developer of Summerlin, and Rich MacDonald, the developer of MacDonald Highlands, for identifying the need to change the trend away from Tuscan to contemporary to attract more international buyers.

“Las Vegas is on the forefront now,” Luke said. “There’s a big demand for high-end custom homes with high ceilings and indoor-outdoor feel where the flow is from the inside to the exterior and use of pocket doors. Our climate is so great, except in the summer, that you can take advantage of it. You don’t have bugs that preclude Florida or California from doing that, and we have the views of the Strip and mountains that we can take advantage of with glass and steel and limited walls.”

Brett Robillard, Atlas Architecture, Planning, Interior Design

Robillard, 45, moved to Las Vegas in 2006 from Boston to work on the Fontainebleau (now The Drew Las Vegas) and started his own firm more than two years ago. He has designed a home that measures more than 13,500 square feet that will be built in the Summit Club in Summerlin.

“I think the housing in Las Vegas has been kind of disappointing, but over the last 10 years, there’s been more of a trend to a more contemporary design,” Robillard said. “With the economy roaring back, we’re seeing more opportunities. The mindset of a lot of the higher-end clients is definitely trending much more in line with the kind of architecture I like to do and feel good about doing.”

Architects in town need to be more responsive to the climate and sites to enhance views and better orient the homes for heating, cooling and the sun, he said.

Robillard said he started his own studio because he wanted to work on smaller projects. When he worked as an architect in the commercial industry, projects didn’t always move forward, and that’s frustrating, he said.

“I tend to approach the design of the home in slightly a different way,” Robillard said. “There’s nothing formulaic about it. Every project is unique and tailored to the client and their lifestyle. Before we get into aesthetics and material selections, we listen to them and the way they live. Everybody has such different behaviors and habits. Some people like wide, open spaces, and sometimes they prefer traditional planning where every room has its own function.”

Robillard said the younger generations are fueling the movement to more modern designs, and that trend will continue.

Eric Strain, Assemblage Studio

Strain, 56, moved to Las Vegas in 1970 when he was 8 and got interested in architecture because his grandfather was a contractor who did his own drawings. He started his firm 21 years ago and said he’s never done a Tuscan project in his career. He’s designed homes in high-end communities in Henderson and Summerlin, and he said the focus is on designs that are appropriate for the environment.

“I’m looking to create a style, but something that’s appropriate to the desert,” Strain said. “It’s through materials that are responsive to the desert, such as metals and black, rammed earth and concrete, materials that age with the desert. That limits the amount of maintenance.”

Strain said no one incorporates more glass in homes than he does. He said it’s important to allow indirect light without allowing heat to penetrate the space.

“I think it’s a sign of the times, and the style has caught on around the country,” said Strain, an associate professor at the UNLV School of Architecture. “We have been doing this kind of work for 20 years.”

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Real Estate Millions Videos
Real Estates Millions: Midcentury Remodel - Video
Originally built in 1966, this Midcentury Remodel has been modernized to appeal to the masses. The larger than life windows brighten up the entire home and offer brilliant views of the nearby mountains and golf course.
Real Estate Millions: Lake Las Vegas (23 Summer House Drive)
Real Estate Millions: Angeles Home In MacDonald Highlands - VIDEO
Angeles Scorsetti's nearly 10,000-square-foot home she and her husband, Steve Mason, purchased on the Dragon Ridge Golf Course and spent six months remodeling, leaving behind their Mandarin Oriental penthouse where they lived 8 years above the Strip.
Real Estate Millions: Boulder City Home - VIDEO
Mal Farmer takes us on a tour of her Bolder City home that she remodeled and lived it with her late husband Richard for over 30 years.
Real Estate Million: 27 Shadow Canyon Court - VIDEO
27 Shadow Canyon is a $5.5 million dollar home is 9,825 square-feet with six bedrooms and 7 baths. Shadow Canyon is equipped with an assortment of Tesla Amenities including power walls, solar panels, and an electric car.
Real Estate Millions: 2019 New American Remodel
Real Estate Millions: Las Vegas Motorcoach Resort - VIDEO
Various RV owners living in the community of the Las Vegas Motorcoach Resorts gives the crew a tour of their motor homes.
Real Estate Millions: Brett Raymer's Tanked Home - VIDEO
Brett Raymer from the TV show "Tanked" gives us a look into his 4 story home on the edge of Lone mountain. What would a tanked home be without a 700-gallon custom aquarium in the kitchen and a 6,000-gallon Koi pond in its resort-style backyard.
Real Estate Millions: 460 Probst Way
460 Probst Way is listed for $4.5 million and has 5 bedrooms, 6 baths, 4 car garage and is 6,738 square feet. The home is in a gated compound with an outdoor pool, deck, and kitchen with near 360 degree of the las vegas valley. The house will be auctioned on April 26-29th.
Real Estate Millions: Home + History Tour - VIDEO
A 1963 Paradise Palms home. Originally called the Monterey, the open floor plan features a living, dining and kitchen area in main living area, original hardwood flooring, original central vac system, both master bathrooms have original starburst tile and vanities, fully renovated kitchen with quartz counters and new appliances, waterfall edge island with counter seating, ‘Cosmos,’ a Soviet-inspired lounge with fog machine, laser lights, sound system and full bar, fresh paint, retro furnishings, new carpet, pool, pool deck with seating and covered bar, lifetime block and steel construction.
Real Estate Millions: Jim Rhodes Home Most Expensive In Las Vegas - VIDEO
Jim Rhodes has created the most expensive home on the market in Las Vegas. The home is listed at $29,995,000, 9,798 sq. ft., 8 Bedrooms, 8 Full Baths, 2 Half Baths and has 360-degree views of the Las Vegas Strip.
Pawn Stars Rick Harrison Real Estate Millions - VIDEO
Reality TV star Rick Harrison from Pawn Stars shows his eccentric home off in the Red Rock Country Club. The house is 8,845 square feet. It has five bedrooms, seven bathrooms and three additional rooms. It is listed at $3,999,999.
Real Estate Millions: Boulder City Home (613 Lido Dr) - VIDEO
Sitting on top of a mountain overlooking the Lake Mead recreation area, Scott Baranoff gives a tour of his 4,655 square feet Frank Lloyd-Wright inspired home in Boulder City.
Real Estate Millions: Hard Luck Mine Castle
Real Estate Millions: Flip or Flop Vegas
Real Estate Millions: Myron Martin
Real Estate Millions: $15M Palms Place Penthouse
Phil Maloof’s Palms Place Penthouse, which takes up the entire 59th-floor, is for sale for $15 million. (Samia DeCubas/Real Estate Millions)
Real Estate Millions: The New American Home 2019
Real Estate Millions: The highest-priced condos sold in Las Vegas in 2018
Real Estate Millions: One Queensridge Place
Real Estate Millions: 1210 Macdonald Ranch
Real Estate Millions: Jonathan Marchessault
Vegas Golden Knight Jonathan Marchessault, shows off his Summerlin home.
Real Estate Millions: Say Yes To The Nest
Camila and Brent Lincowski have planted roots in the Las Vegas area with a $1.5 million home in Henderson.
Real Estate Millions: KB Smart Home
KB Homes and Google have teamed up to create a smart home.
Marc-Andre Fleury selling Las Vegas home for $2.5M - VIDEO
Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury has put his custom Southern Highlands home on the market for $2.5 million. The single-story home, built on a .63-acre lot in 2015, measures 5,285 square feet and has a 717-square-foot casita and three-car garage. It has five bedrooms and six baths. Fleury bought the home from former NHL player and fellow Canadian Sheldon Souray, according to public records. When he signed his three-year, $25M contract extension over the summer, Fleury told the media he and his family love Las Vegas and cited its great schools and neighborhoods with a lot of things for kids to do. Fleury said he and his family love their home in Southern Highlands, but wanted to be “closer to the Summerlin area." Home photos courtesy of Ivan Sher Group
Marc-Andre Fleury selling Las Vegas home for $2.5M - VIDEO
Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury has put his custom Southern Highlands home on the market for $2.5 million. The single-story home, built on a .63-acre lot in 2015, measures 5,285 square feet and has a 717-square-foot casita and three-car garage. It has five bedrooms and six baths. Fleury bought the home from former NHL player and fellow Canadian Sheldon Souray, according to public records. When he signed his three-year, $25M contract extension over the summer, Fleury told the media he and his family love Las Vegas and cited its great schools and neighborhoods with a lot of things for kids to do. Fleury said he and his family love their home in Southern Highlands, but wanted to be “closer to the Summerlin area." Home photos courtesy of Ivan Sher Group
Real Estate Millions: Waldorf Astoria penthouses
Real Estate Millions: Cold Creek Log House
Real Estate Millions: Brett Torino Christmas
Real Estate Millions: Pia Zadora
Real Estate Millions: Lake Las Vegas
Home builder Toll Brothers has plans in Summerlin
Toll Brothers purchased of 128 acres of property near Mesa Park Drive and Town Center Drive will be used for a housing development. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST
 
Realtor specializes in midcentury remodels

Just say midcentury modern to Hayden Ross, and she’s all in. The Las Vegas Realtor and special needs physical education teacher for the Clark County School District specializes in that architectural style.

 
Designer Angeles Scorsetti creates showcases in home

The home, itself, is a series of elaborate showrooms, including the cabana, decorated by the perpetually inspired Scorsetti. All of the furniture and lighting is from their company, Scorsetti Design, which has a studio on 3091 Tompkins Ave. They have access to a library of 1,000 vendors all over the world. The interior decorating firm has created unique looks for many high-end homes throughout the Las Vegas Valley.

American Institute of Architects holds trade show in Vegas

About 20,000 members of the American Institute of Architects will descend upon Las Vegas Wednesday through Friday for the first time in 14 years as part of its annual gathering that had the group in New York City a year ago.

 
Las Vegas estate comes with Tesla for $5.5M — PHOTOS

GLH is collaborating with Tesla Inc. and other new technology vendors to create “superluxury homes of the future.” The company’s goalis to showcase intelligent, elegant, automated and eco-friendly homes within an integrated smart community that includes transportationas part of the residents’ lifestyle amenities.

 
New American Remodel built for energy efficiency — VIDEO

In seeking a Las Vegas home to turn into a state-of-the-art, high-end luxury remodel, architect Michael Gardner chose what he referred to as a “poorly built” 1950s single-story downtown ranch home on a property with well and water rights in an agriculturally designated area.

 
Las Vegas motorcoach resort offers luxury amenities

The Las Vegas Motorcoach Resort has elevated the RV lifestyle to a fine art, with amenities like a 10,000-square-foot clubhouse, a fitness center, a 24-hour guard gate and concierge services.

 
‘Tanked’ star Brett Raymer lists home for $3.2M

You haven’t seen or heard the last of Brett Raymer. The quick-talking and energetic former co-star of the Animal Planet reality television show “Tanked” can only been seen on reruns for now. The show recently announced its cancellation after 15 seasons and more than 150 episodes.

Luxury master-planned communities continue to thrive

The Las Vegas luxury real estate market had its strongest year since the Great Recession and shows no signs of slowing in 2019.

 
Hilltop resort has room for limo: Auction is this weekend

Sunsets are spectacular from inside the 7,400 square feet of glam and palatial splendor known as Sapphire Oasis at the eastern edge of the valley.