Overview

Terms like “luxury” and “grandeur” barely come close to describing the multimillion-dollar residences in Vegas that compare in size to a 747. These are the castles that gave birth to the term “starchitecture,” a term still relevant but not as defining as it once was. That’s not to say that citadels with tons of custom stone and bowling alleys in the basement aren’t being built. They are, but with less fervor. Instead, even casino moguls today have scaled back, preferring a minimalist design and much less real estate. The Vegas housing market is transforming, and one developer leading the way is Ascaya, which is building up a luxury hilltop community in Henderson. The goal is more functional, creating desert getaways or primary residences that offer an outdoor-indoor living experience, but also timeless designs that match the landscape. To that end, Ascaya hand-picked a few of the most skilled and prominent residential architects and designers to create inspiration homes. Some of them are on this list. Even if they are out of state, being selected by Ascaya to re-define home luxury in Vegas carried much weight. Other weighty criteria were innovation, adaptability, and professional stature.

Top Firms

10
Design Cell

Principals:
Scott Brown
Kastytis Cechavicius

Address:
1725 Village Center Circle #110, Las Vegas, NV 89134

Contact:
702-403-1575
inbox@design-cell.com

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About Design Cell

Design Cell’s founders and principals are former coworkers. Both learned the trade while working for the prominent Vegas firm, JMA Architecture Studios. Scott Brown, NCARB, studied architecture at the University of Utah, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees. His early years were spent as a project professional with Shiel Architects in Salt Lake City, before going on to serve as project manager with JMA. Lithuanian-born Principal Kastytis Cechavicius studied architecture in his home country and then in England, at the University of Cambridge. He completed his architecture studies at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. At JMA, Kastytis was a senior designer. He obtained LEED accreditation and architecture licenses in several states. In 2007, Kastytis and Brown started this firm, which specializes in site planning, concept design, and construction documents and drawings. They work throughout Southern Nevada, and also in Oregon, Washington, Utah, California, Texas, Arizona, Colorado, and North Dakota. Its most elegant custom residences have been in Red Rock Country Club and Henderson.

Featured Projects

The firm designed the “Slade Residence” for a family of six in Vegas, which is situated near a golf course and mountain range. To make the most of this natural setting, the ceiling-to-floor glass walls open up onto an outdoor oasis. Large planters were placed around the house and near the entrance to further blur the lines between the exterior and interior. A pattern of natural stone that starts at the facade continues to the inside and to the rear. The purpose is to highlight how even the desert landscape can complement even a contemporary indoor modern design. The cantilever-designed canopy by the pool protects from the sun without blocking the spectacular views. Further from the desert is a remodel completed in 2011 in one of Vegas’s most upscale communities. The firm built an addition that gave the home a new wing and a freestanding casita, which created a private courtyard that the homeowners can use for lively entertaining. The modernist roof – with overhangs and curves – create a unique elevation.

9
Marc Lemoine Architecture

Principals:
Marc Lemoine

Awards:
Las Vegas Home & Design Heidi Awards,
Pacific Coast Builders Conferece Grand Award,
Pacific Coast Builders Conferece Merit Award

Address:
9081 W Sahara Avenue #210, Las Vegas, NV 89117

Contact:
702-646-01123
marc.mla@lvcoxmail.com

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About Marc Lemoine Architecture

Marc Lemoine, AIA, NCARB, spent a year studying architecture in Florence, Italy, before returning to the US in 1981 to complete his studies at the California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo. He first worked on residential and commercial builds for the Mclarand Vasquez and Partners firm in Costa Mesa, California. When he moved to Vegas in 1986, he signed on with the G.C. Wallace firm and ended up running its architecture department. He founded his own firm in 1996 and since then has been licensed in Texas, Utah, California, and Colorado. His firm today is full service, designing not only custom homes but also office buildings, retail, multi-family, and community improvement projects. His geographic focus is Las Vegas, Paradise, Spring Valley, Blue Diamond, Enterprise, Summerlin, and Winchester.

Featured Projects

Lemoine’s design of the “TO Residence” cost its owners more than $2M. The 5,500-square-foot project, completed in 2015, was placed at an angle to provide the best outdoor views. But the design’s focal point is a basement that is anything but typical. It contains dual bowling lanes, a theater, a wine cellar, a game room, and a sport court with ceilings stretching up to 18 feet. At the rear of the home is a private courtyard with another sport court, and a lounge built below ground level. Elaborate too is the “MA Residence,” another multimillion-dollar home with 8,000 square feet of living space, two levels, and a crisp clean design. Stand-out features are a free-standing wine room, made of glass and stone, that stands 12 feet high, extra-thick glass doors guarding the master suite, and a polished steel stairway that floats.

8
Daniel Joseph Chenin

Principals:
Daniel Joseph Chenin

Awards:
2017 AIA Design Award – TNT Residence,
2014 AIA Nevada Young Architect Award

Address:
2520 Saint Rose Parkway, Suite 213, Henderson, NV 89074

Contact:
702-660-1000
studio@djc-ltd.com

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About Daniel Joseph Chenin

Las Vegas native Daniel Joseph Chenin specializes in architecture and interior design. He received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in architecture from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, where he graduated first in his class and was honored with medals for academic excellence in his field. The firm he founded is a little over four years old but Chenin’s experience and leadership in the field span 18 years. His credentials are top-notch: he is also licensed in Florida and Arizona, a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) accredited, a Building Design and Construction (BD+C) specialist, and certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). He has served on the Board of Directors for the AIA Las Vegas and was the AIA National Young Architect representative during 2014 and 2015. He’s spent 10 years as an adjunct professor at the University of Nevada’s School of Architecture. In addition to running a practice focused on quality and service, Chenin is also the Design Review Architect for “The Summit” custom home development in Summerlin by Discovery Land Company.

Featured Projects

The TNT Residence is the first residence to receive an American Institute of Architects (AIA) Design award in the Ascaya community. Its inspiration stemmed from historic desert courtyard configurations, which effectively combine environmental control in hot arid climates with protection and privacy. The low horizontal roof-forms of the residence emphasize the sites sweeping views and iconic stacked rock walls. The floor plan of the 7,000 square foot residence is a series of volumes arranged to promote circulation in a cinematic fashion. From point to point, the focus stays on specifically curated internal views while responding to sculptural nodes and natural landforms about each major circulation axis. A series of staggered walls inspired by the regions desert cacti, form a protective veil enclosing the west and east sides of the home with courtyard gardens. These robust walls act as heat sinks absorbing the desert sun while protecting from intense summer and winter winds, which come from the west. Each garden courtyard is connected to an interior room which can fully open to the outdoors without any environmental or privacy concerns. The exterior pallet of materials, all of which contain high percentages of recycled content, is limited to wood at entry points, metal cladding at roofs, and a ventilated stone façade at all exterior walls. For enhanced energy efficiency, the design contains minimal south facing windows and no west or east windows that are directly exposed to the sun. Views, access to light, and air are enhanced because long (light colored) roof overhangs bounce the widely available daylight deep into their adjacent rooms, significantly reducing artificial lighting demand by over 50%. The exterior walls utilize a specially designed stone cladding system that ventilates warm air build up before it reaches the interior of the residence, thus enhancing overall thermal performance and user comfort.

7
Hoogland Architecture

Principals:
Henry CJ Hoogland

Address:
6280 S Valley View Blvd Ste 742, Las Vegas, NV 89118

Contact:
702-343-1850
info@hooglandarchitecture.com

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About Hoogland Architecture

Henry CJ Hoogland’s firm might be under 10 years old, but it is close to achieving star status for premium luxury home design. Hoogland graduated with a degree in architecture and design from Arizona State University. He went on to Rice University’s graduate program in architecture and earned a master’s degree, magna cum laude. A couple of internships later, he secured a position as project manager for the impressive Assemblage Studio based in Vegas and then as project architect with another prominent firm, Carpenter Sellers Del Gatto. In 2011, he founded the firm bearing his name and began practicing a brand of architecture he refers to as “functionally poetic.” Hoogland’s credentials include certifications from National Council of Architectural Registration Boards and LEED.
The firm specializes in green building, home extensions and remodeling, new construction, and sustainable design. Most of its work is in the Blue Diamond, Enterprise, Paradise, Summerlin, and Winchester areas.

Featured Projects

Hoogland demonstrated his ability to match a home’s design with its outdoor setting. “Shade House,” a custom build completed in 2013, protects its owners from overexposure to the desert’s scorching climate. This was accomplished by designing oversized outside windows to wrap around a concealed courtyard that features more ceiling-to-floor glass. There’s also a covered canopy that allows seamless transitions between different indoor and outdoor lighting, thanks to a digitally generated filtering pattern. Hoogland shows his modernist side with “Arroyo House,” fortified with Corten steel walls and cast-in-place concrete. Across town, in The Ridges, is an estate that stands out from but complements the residential splendor surrounding it. “Zealandhaus” is said to mimic a split rock flowering plant with crystals inside. Its stucco façade conceals layers of richly overpriced copper and patina.

6
Adapture

Principals:
Jason Strodl

Address:
817 S. Main Street, Las Vegas, NV 89101

Contact:
702-629-7222
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About Adapture

It was only eight years after receiving his master’s in architecture and urban design from UCLA that Jason Strodl, AIA, started this firm. During those years, he honed his craft as a project architect and then as a project manager for two of California’s most prominent firms — Marmol Radziner & Associates and Gensler. Strodl branched out on his own in 2008. After winning a local architecture competition, Desert Companion pegged Strodl as an “architect to watch.” Strodl and his team, which includes his wife, a licensed interior designer, are building dream homes in upscale Vegas neighborhoods. Strodl’s work has also garnered attention in the local media. He was recently featured in an Architecture Las Vegas article as one of a handful of architects who will frame the Vegas landscape going forward.

Featured Projects

A residence he calls “The Pavilion” shows Strodl’s signature style. An infinity edge pool disappears into the landscape. The roof is cantilevered, a design favored by modernist architects because it gives the impression of strong horizontal planes suspended over structures below. It also offers a cleaner architectural line. For a linear effect, Strodl ran a limestone floor from inside the home to the pool’s deck. He is equally proud of “The Kuluz Residence,” which sits in the Las Vegas Valley. The 4,500-square-foot home has a formal dining room that serves as a connection point between two separate wings – one public and the other private. The public wing is for the family of four’s daytime functions, and the private houses the bedrooms. Living and dining rooms were placed in the back so they can open up to an outdoor patio and pool with exceptional views of the city and nearby mountains.

5
SB Architects

Principals:
Scott A. Lee
Bruce A. Wright

Address:
One Beach Street, Suite 101, San Francisco, CA 94133

Contact:
415-673-8990
contactsf@sb-architects.com

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About SB Architects

This San Francisco-based firm has an international reach and handles large-scale projects, such as hotels, resorts, destination communities, and mixed-use buildings. But it is equally known for its inspiring custom home designs. It’s been around for five decades and has other locations in Miami and Shenzhen. Principal Scott A. Lee, AIA, LEED AP, has been president since 2000. Before that, he was a principal at HKS, another prominent San Francisco firm. His bachelor’s in architecture is from California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo. Principal Bruce A. Wright, AIA, LEED AP, who serves as vice president, earned his architecture degrees from California State University, San Bernardino and the University of Arizona. Before joining SB, Wright was an associate at Hill Glazier Architects and junior designer at Klages Carter Vail. The firm’s expansion into the Vegas market is relatively recent. It was chosen to design one of the over 300 luxury estates that will make up Ascaya, Sin City’s newest cluster of residential opulence.

Featured Projects

SB’s contribution to the Ascaya development was the first inspiration design. It is a tranquil refuge encompassing 7,200 square feet. The basics are all there: four bedrooms, six-and-a-half baths, an office, and an entertainment room. What makes it special are pockets of chic, such as extra square footage for the central areas – living, dining, and kitchen. More chic comes from an outdoor spa and indoor multi-purpose room that has its own roof deck. Outside is a dining room with a cover, and a sunken fire pit for entertaining. Also different is that this home was designed as a getaway for two. It’s a swanky retreat with earthy colors and organic textures that make it ideal for festive gatherings. What it shares with other Ascaya structures are the crisp lines and every-room glass encasements to permit landscape views even from hallways.

4
Swaback Partners

Principals:
John E. Sather AIA, AICP

Awards:
Gold Nugget Awards,
AIA Merit Award,
DBI National Award of Merit

Address:
7550 E McDonald Drive A, Scottsdale, AZ 85250

Contact:
480-367-2100
jesather@swaback.com

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About Swaback Partners

The firm was founded thru an uncommon association with an architectural genius. Founding partner of this Arizona-based firm, Vernon D. Swaback, FAIA, FAICP, studied as an apprentice to Frank Lloyd Wright. After 22 years with the Wright organization, he began the firm now known as Swaback Partner, PLLC which is entering its 40th year of practice. Senior Partner with the firm, John E. Sather, AIA, AICP, also studied at the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. Swaback Partners, PLLC is now registered in over 18 states and does a very diverse range of custom homes, hospitality, office, commercial, university campuses, and large-scale community planning. Their projects have received dozens of, AIA, Gold Nugget Awards, Urban Land Institute, and even the National Award of Merit from the Design Build Institute. There work is widely published in several journals including Luxe, Golf Digest, Golf Inc., The Robb Report, Architectural Digest, the AIA journal and Forbes. Swaback Partners entry into the Vegas home market is futured in serval private home, and most recently at Ascaya, a new luxury hilltop community. Swaback Partners is also lead architect of Ascaya and designed its new $25M clubhouse.

Featured Projects

Swaback Partners project is known as “Ascaya House 198.” It is an over 8,000-square-foot luxury structure on a half-acre in the renowned desert community. The home showcases what can be achieved with a desert contemporary design – four bedrooms, an office, and five-and-a-half baths, topped off with state-of-the-art, energy-saving functions. The modernist roof with elaborate overhangs was made for the desert. The firm also is currently underway with another residence at Lake Las Vegas, a desert oasis of nearly 320 acres of manmade lakes and desert landscaping, where a showcase home is priced at $8M. Swaback’s home was the first custom residence in that part of the community. It consists of 8,344 square feet, intended to epitomize luxurious living beyond compare. The two-story design has a flowing floor plan, large outdoor areas with palm trees lining a pool, and fire pit.

3
Marmol Radziner

Principals:
Leo Marmol
Ron Radziner

Awards:
Interior Design Hall of Fame

Address:
12210 Nebraska Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90025

Contact:
310-826-6222
info@marmol-radziner.com

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About Marmol Radziner

Even by California standards, this Los Angeles-based firm enjoys a high-ranking reputation for excellence and leadership in architecture and design. It was started in 1989 by Managing Principal Leo Marmol, who took his bachelor’s – with a minor in philosophy – from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo in 1987. Co-founder and Design Principal Ron Radziner received a master’s in architecture from the same school in 1986. In 2007, both men were welcomed into the College of the FAIA, and two years later, both made it into the Interior Design Hall of Fame. During the early years, architecture was the focus. But the firm later branched out into design-build. As Radziner explains, it became hard to find contractors who could meet the firm’s high standards. In 2015, the firm was tapped by Las Vegas developers to build out a new batch of ritzy homes. In 2014, the firm made the AD100 list of the world’s best interior designers and architects.

Featured Projects

Marmol Radziner was one of the few Southwestern firms chosen by Ascaya to design homes at a new site in the Henderson McCullough desert landscape, which is about nine miles past the Strip. The site will showcase the new style of Vegas opulence and is expected to contain over 300 estates. Marmol Radziner’s residence consists of 7,373 square feet on a site that measures 19,542 square feet. The two-story structure has four bedrooms, four baths, a three-car garage, a guest room, a mud area, a powder room, and a gym. Because it hovers about 1,000 feet above the Las Vegas Valley, it offers spectacular views of the mountains. The architectural challenge was to design a residence that allowed homeowners to enjoy the desert. The firm complied with a semi-private façade but a completely open back, and full-room glass expanses in the home office, great room, and media room. The transition from indoors to outdoors is almost imperceptible.

2
Richard Luke Architects

Principals:
Richard Luke

Awards:
Golden Nugget Award,
“Street of Dreams” Award for Best Architecture,
Las Vegas Silver Award for Custom Residence

Address:
9061 W. Sahara Avenue, Suite 105, Las Vegas, NV 89117

Contact:
702-325-5853
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About Richard Luke Architects

They call him the “Mansion Master,” partly because Richard Luke has designed over 500 custom luxury homes in southern Nevada alone. And the majority of those homes sell in the $10M to $15M range. Although they are located in master-planned neighborhoods with strict architectural guidelines, Luke has made each home unique. He received his bachelor’s in architecture with honors from the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia in 1983. The following year, he moved to Vegas and, two years after that, opened his own firm. Since then, he’s attracted the attention of Vegas royalty like the Maloof family, who own the Palms, and has been hand-picked to design their mega-mansions. The bulk of Luke’s work is in the Vegas metro area, but he’s also done projects in California and Texas, and internationally, for select clients. He’s been honored with the Golden Nugget Award for a Custom Residence, a “Street of Dreams” Award for Best Architecture, and a Las Vegas Silver Award for Custom Residence.

“As a small boy growing up in Australia’s capital city Canberra, I marveled at the beautiful modern contemporary museums and government buildings that sprung up around the huge man-made lake that is the centerpiece of our master-planned city. They inspired me to become an architect.” – Richard Luke

Featured Projects

Luke did the ground-up work in 2004 and the $3M additions in 2011 of the $12.5M mansion on Eagles Landing owned by casino mogul Gavin Maloof. The 13,489-square-foot mansion features a home gym, a Crestron home automation system, and a theater priced at $1M. Palm trees line a water runway that leads to a backyard pool. There are six bedrooms, a game room, several wet bars, an elevator, a 10-car garage, and a walk-in wine refrigerator. The home’s interior brims with stone columns, granite, marble, limestone, elaborate ceilings, and strategic lighting. Another of Luke’s signature designs is known as “The Keeter Residence,” also on Eagles Landing. This Mediterranean-styled mansion has 16,789 square feet of living space and much more outdoor space. Luke’s layout included six bedrooms, eight bathrooms, a two-story great room with a fireplace and wet bar, a gourmet kitchen, a catering kitchen, a gym, an eight-car garage, many terraces, and an outdoor barbeque area with swimming pool and fire pit. Special touches are a full-length terrace on the second floor, Greek columns lining the interior of a balcony, and bathroom features in the master suite so massive they are best described as marble structures.

“Today the modern architecture I grew up with has grown enormously popular of late. With the improvements in 3D visualization and graphics, I am more exuberant and inspired now than at any time in my 40-year career as an architect!” – Richard Luke

1
Blue Heron

Principals:
Tyler Jones
Steve Jones

Awards:
PCBC Gold Nugget Grand Awards,
PCBC Gold Nugget Awards of Merit,
Best in American Living Awards

Address:
1320 Villa Barolo Avenue, Henderson, NV 89052

Contact:
702-531-3000
info@blueheron.com

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About Blue Heron

Industry leader Blue Heron was also founded by a man who’s spent his entire life in Nevada. Tyler Jones’s father was a builder, and Jones’s first job in high school was working at an architecture firm. He earned architecture degrees from the University of Colorado, then founded this firm in 2003. Since then, he’s received over 30 design build awards. The National Association of Homebuilders selected Jones to be on its architect design-build team for the International Builders Show in 2013 and 2015. In 2013, Jones received NAHB Emerald Certification and LEED Platinum Certification. Jones’s brother and co-founder Steve Jones handles the construction and quality control at the firm. Steve also studied architecture at the University of Nevada. In addition to managing Blue Heron, he owns and operates Merlin Contracting, which builds custom estates throughout Vegas. Most of Blue Heron’s residential projects fetch between $1.2M and $6M.

Featured Projects

A typical residence by Blue Heron is a 6,249-square-foot home on .53 acres in Marquis Seven Hills. The project, completed in 2015, cost upwards of $2M. An elaborate, modern-themed covered patio features lots of private seating and opens up to a sunken pool that winds through separate wings of the home. The inside brims with steel and a gray-white-blue color palette running through an open floor plan. Another $2M Seven Hills residence greets visitors with a waterfall at the entrance – as soon as one gets past an elaborate courtyard. Pocket doors are automatic and run from the ceiling to the floor. Views of the Rio Secco golf course are exceptional. The master bedroom has a private entrance to the outdoor pool. Perhaps Blue Heron’s crowning achievement was in 2015, when it was awarded another New American Home project for its state-of-the-art Sky Terrace home. The structure is 8,000 square feet. The floorplan intertwines indoor and outdoor areas and provides decks with rooftop spaces that allow 360-degree views of the Strip.

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