In Las Vegas there is no such thing as a small gesture when it comes to architecture and design. Between the spectacle of the Strip and the unyielding drama of the surrounding Mojave Desert, you go bold or you go home.
So that’s exactly what architect Eric Strain of Assemblage Studio did when a couple with a young daughter asked him to design a spacious, resort-style home for them on a lot that had killer views of the Strip and the sandstone peaks of the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.
Strain’s striking design includes a three-level main house plus a pool house/office, large enough to accommodate the big parties the couple enjoys hosting as well as extended visits from their overseas family. Dubbing the home Tresarca for its series of rectangular forms stacked perpendicularly atop one another, Strain also used breezes, a blurred sense of indoors and out, and shading as design motifs — most notably he included a sculptural shade screen that envelops the home’s upper level.
Houzz at a Glance
Who lives here: An entrepreneurial couple and their tween daughter
Location: Las Vegas
Size: 8,000 square feet (743 square meters); 4 bedrooms, 4 full bathrooms, 3 half bathrooms
Team: Landscape architect: Chris Winters & Associates; builder: Unique Custom Homes
Photography by Bill Timmerman and Zack Hussain
Resort Style 1: Bill Timmerman and Zack Hussain, original photo on Houzz
The home’s rectangular forms are apparent from the street. The main level, on the right, is topped by a cantilevered bedroom level, which is enveloped in a sculptural mesh shade screen. The gate leads to a large entry courtyard, tucked behind the blackened steel fence.
Resort Style 2: Bill Timmerman and Zack Hussain, original photo on Houzz
The main level includes living, dining and kitchen spaces. Window walls throughout the house open to pull in breezes from the pool and adjacent golf course and allow a seamless transition to outdoor spaces. Furnishings, such as the custom wood dining table, are scaled large for comfort.
Windows: Fleetwood; marble flooring, slate fireplace cladding: Tuscany Collection; lighting: Viabizzuno; dining chairs: Ligne Roset
The kitchen’s 14-foot island provides plenty of space for informal dining. The freestanding wall and counter space at the back screen another cooking area, useful for catered parties.
Related: Invest in a New Kitchen Island
Resort Style 3: Bill Timmerman and Zack Hussain, original photo on Houzz
A glass tile wall adds a colorful counterpoint to the kitchen’s sleek lines and subtle tones.
Cabinetry: Bulthaup; ovens: Miele; cooktop: Viking; faucet: Kohler
Resort Style 4: Bill Timmerman and Zack Hussain, original photo on Houzz
The upper-level master suite has filtered views of the desert through the mesh shade structure. The flooring is bamboo.
Bed: Ligne Roset; area rug: Designlush
Resort Style 5: Bill Timmerman and Zack Hussain, original photo on Houzz
A custom marble tub, filled by a ceiling fixture, invites long soaks in the luxe master bath. Granite-clad walls and rectangles embedded in river stones add natural appeal.
Plumbing fixtures: Kohler
The home’s site slopes gently toward the back, affording the opportunity to create a partially excavated lower level that includes two guest suites, a wine room and this media room. When not in use, the lower level — and its utilities — can be shut off from the rest of the house.
Resort Style 6: Bill Timmerman and Zack Hussain, original photo on Houzz
The freestanding pool house includes this lounge and home office, partially visible through the slot window. The wall is clad in shou-sugi-ban (charred) wood, angled to echo the forms of the home’s upper-level shade screen. A backlit image of smoke provides a focal point for the bar.
Furniture: Ligne Roset
A negative-edge pool, with a raised spa and a shallow sundeck, reflects the back of the home and pool house.
Outdoor furniture: Cane-line
The pool and patio overlook a golf course and the desert hills beyond. Ample deck space and courtyards provide spots for outdoor entertaining.
The design of the 18-foot-tall, articulated shade screen was inspired by the dappled shade provided by palo verde trees, as well as the crackling of the desert floor after rainwater dries.
The shade screen, which envelops the entire upper floor, pulls away from the walls, refracting sunlight. “The heat collects on the screen,” explains Strain, “and never hits the house directly. The gap between the house and the screen acts as a chimney, with cooler air rising to take the heat up and away.”