Design Consultation . Santa Monica, California
$_SERVER[REQUEST_URI] = /projects/200101.php
sectionname() = Projects
pagename() = 200101

Henderson, NV
May 2001 to April 2006

Our most ambitious residential project to date, the Castle is fifteen thousand square feet. It required extensive development of a ten acre lot which is twenty minutes south of the Las Vegas Strip. The client is a headline entertainer on The Strip. He was not able to find a home in a gated community which fit his personality. He toured The Slammer, the residence which we designed for Penn Jillette, and engaged our studio after an initial meeting.

Click on an image to go to the gallery.
Through a three year process, as we crept towards the grading permit and the day we could finally start working on the access road to the site, the client was kept up-to-date on every step. We delivered a model of the project (one inch equals eight feet) which helped to maintain the client’s enthusiasm for the project during the lengthy permit and site preparation phases.

Although the client wanted a Castle, he knew that we are not set dressers or theme-park architects (Las Vegas has plenty of both). So it is a modern building of stark cubic volumes arranged around the top of the irregular building pad at the top of the eighty-foot high hill. The volumes create a landscaped courtyard, and rise at right angles to the fall lines of the various slopes. This is similar to the way traditional crusades castles were sited on their commanding hilltops.

In this residence, the individual groupings of volumes represent distinct parts of the program: public spaces, private spaces and a guest wing. The separation of these functions means that the house can be cooled (or heated) only as needed. The client is able to stay mostly in the master suite, which has all of the functions that his daily life requires. The forms tell a tale of occupancy and availability.

Click on an image to go to the gallery.
The exterior of the Castle is black split-faced concrete block. This matches the hillside, which is covered with fist-sized, black, volcanic rocks and nothing but the scrubbiest desert vegetation. It will be imposing from below, increasing the security for its celebrity occupant.

The Castle broke ground in September 2003. The client moved into the Master Suite in December 2006. There is still landscaping and other portions of the project that need to be completed.

There are more images, with captions, in the gallery.