If it’s been a few years since you’ve made any changes to your home, it might be time for an update. Michael A. Gardner and Morgan LeFever of studio g ARCHITECTURE discuss home updates.
Michael Gardner creates a masterpiece of technology, design and home performance at The New American Remodel.
BY Jessi C. Acuna
Local architect Michael Gardner is no stranger to showcasing innovation and design in his projects. The sought-after designer has left his mark in Las Vegas’ most prestigious neighborhoods – Spanish Trail, The Ridges, Ascaya. So it’s no surprise he was tasked as the visionary behind The New American Remodel, the official show home of National Association of Home Builders’ annual gathering. Located in a historic neighborhood on Pinto Lane, this is the first in Gardner’s portfolio for his new all-in-one design-build service firm, Luxus Design Build.
You Previously did homes in 2013 and 2016. What are some of the most innovative elements of the 2019 home? Form a technology standpoint, the full integration of the home with the Crestron system, you’re able to control everything. The home security, all of the lighting, your fire features, your television, all your mechanical systems are all integrated through an app. You’re able to control the house from within the home, out in the orchard or 10,000 miles away.
What about the sustainability standards? As far as the technology that most people didn’t see, we call it a building science design approach. We built these wall assemblies and roof assemblies to mitigate any heat gain or mitigate as much heat gain to the home as possible. We created this nice tight thermal envelope, really reducing the thermal bridging.
Which feature would you like to see in other Las Vegas Homes as we continue to grow? The biggest thing, which is the most different than a lot of the other homes, is this gas heat pump HVAC system. The efficiency to cost benefit is one of the best investments clients can make, especially when you pair it with solar because you can really then start to offset a lot more of your costs.
What are the trends to look out for? The sizes of homes are starting to dwindle, especially on the higher end. The days of 20,000-30,000-square-foot houses are becoming much more of an anomaly. People are spending a lot more money on higher-quality materials and getting more sophisticated with the palette of the materials – creating the use and contrast of smooth and textural environments so it’s this transition.
Original published in Modern Luxury Vegas Magazine. To read more of the issue go to vegasmagazine.com.
To transform a 1950s farmhouse into a modern dwelling with all the resplendence of nearby Las Vegas, Michael A. Gardner of studio g ARCHITECTURE used floor-to-ceiling moving glass walls to create vistas and view corridors filled with natural light. Video courtesy of Western Window Systems
Published in Las Vegas Review Journal By Kristen Peterson Real Estate Millions on May 17, 2019.
Having recently completed a LEED-designated home in Spanish Trail, the Las Vegas architect selected for the National Association of Home Builders’ New American Remodel was going all-in on the farm-to-table concept. And with net-zero energy consumption, he was aiming for the National Green Building Standard’s Emerald designation.
“Everybody talks about buildings and being sustainable,” Gardner said while standing inside the dining room of the nearly 6,000-square-foot downtown home with sliding glass walls that look onto a landscaped courtyard and living space. “But I’ve always felt that there’s this loop that we needed to close.”
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It is a rating system used by the U.S. Green Building Council to measure a building’s efficiency.
Walking through the home’s main kitchen and past the prep kitchen, which includes an urban cultivator for microgreens, Gardner headed into the backyard, with an orchard, gardens, grape vines and a chicken coop. The home’s ample refrigeration and freezers store the harvests and the daily eggs from the chickens.
“We’ve gotten to this very scary place where some children think that a tomato comes from a grocery store, that it doesn’t come from the ground,” said Gardner, principal of Studio G Architecture and Luxus Design Build, who advocates holistic architecture and sustainability. “When we have that detachment, we take a lot of things for granted.”
The 2019 New American Remodel at 2720 Pinto Lane, which debuted at the International Builder’s Show in February and sold for $4.6 million in April, features a West Coast-contemporary design with mid-mod elements: flat rooflines, clerestory windows and textured light stone that continues indoors.
Its exterior of natural materials — textured stone, wood and Kingspan metal — is influenced by other homes in the neighborhood.
Working with participating suppliers and contractors, Gardner gutted the home and removed unsound walls to open up the floor plan. He extended the home deeper into the property so that it and its three-car garage wraps around a strategically shaded landscaped courtyard with its own full kitchen, swimming pool, outdoor living room and natural design elements.
Gardner, who was architect for the 2013 and 2016 New American Homes, said this was his first New American Remodel project and the first home he both designed and built. The project, engineered and designed by his Luxus Design Build, allowed him to create the home as if he were going to live there.
“This is kind of an urban-esque environment with all the properties built in around,” he said. “There’s no opportunity for a view, like in newer developments where everyone plays up the view, so we had to kind of create our own view.”
The central outdoor courtyard is the home’s focal point. Glass walls in the main rooms look out and open up to it. Inside, the spacious, high-ceiling living room, anchored by a large white stone fireplace, recessed ceilings and indirect lighting, complemented by natural colors and varying textures, creates intimacy and warmth. Clean lines, organic materials and textures provide a sense of calm. Porcelain floor tiles, designed to look like concrete, continue throughout the home.
When Gardner opens the sliding-glass walls of the living room, the inside and outside entertainment areas are one. The main kitchen, a gorgeous minimalist area with ample counter space and bar seating, also opens to the teak-tiled courtyard.
A stairway off the dining room leads to a cozy, second-floor sitting room that opens through a bookcase into a spacious master bedroom with a kitchenette, high windows, master bath and large walk-in closet/dressing room. A door opens to an outdoor “catwalk” connecting to the second- floor outdoor kitchen and entertainment area with a high-end pizza oven and framed views of rooftops and trees.
“With remodels, you don’t know what you’re getting into,” said Gardner, who is LEED AP-certified and a member of the U.S. Green Building Council. “We tried to maintain as much as we could.”
When designing the remodel, Gardner studied the outdoor spaces as the sun moved across the sky to determine the best energy efficiency. Overhangs, walls and specialized window sizes are among the many elements designed to keep the house cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
In all, the elegant quiet, spacious home, custom-built to blend in with the neighborhood and its rich history, as well as the desert climate, doubles as a zen-like retreat, an escape from the outside world with private indoor-outdoor living.
“The stigma for Vegas homes is often glitzy and poorly designed houses,” Gardner said. “The level of design is getting significantly better. But we still have that shock-and-awe, casino-type design mentality here. It’s important to show that that’s not necessarily always the case.”
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Watch the video above to learn more about our design for the 2019 New American Remodel garage. The garage was designed, as Michael explains, to function as both a garage and a man cave. Check it out!
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The Video Transcript:
The square footage of the house is about 5,200 square feet. We have a three-car garage plus an RV garage, which most people go why would you do an RV garage? In that neighborhood a lot of people either have boats or have fifth wheels. They have RVs and even the next door neighbor runs a landscaping company out of their property so the ability to store equipment in a climate controlled environment, is pretty critical. We felt that that was kind of a really nice bit and we intentionally made it larger than normal.
So most RV garages will be 18 feet by 40 45 foot but what we wanted to be able to do is if it was a car collector or someone that had the equipment they could kind of stack up a bunch of different things. I could turn it into a workshop so we’ve really turned the garage into a man cave so we’ve got a workbench. They’ll have TVs refrigeration, a small little dishwasher, a urinal in there. So it kind of becomes a space without it being a livable space.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
[vc_row row_type=”row” type=”full_width” text_align=”left” video=”” css_animation=””][vc_column][vc_separator type=”transparent” up=”35″ down=”0″][vc_column_text]As you may already know, The National Association of Home Builders has chosen Michael as the architect for the 2019 New American Remodel.
In this video clip, Michael discusses some of the unique challenges he and his team have been facing during Phase I of construction. Michael also explains the importance of the location and his vision for the remodeled home, as well as some of the complications his team continues to conquer during this process.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”transparent” up=”35″ down=”0″][vc_column_text]
Stay tuned for progress updates here as we continue the remodel process.