Masterful makeover: 1950s ranch transformed into energy-efficient abode centered on a courtyard pool

When Las Vegas architect Michael Gardner set out to remodel a local home for the National Association of Home Builders, his aim was specific: Find a home that isn’t part of a master plan and, of equal importance, a home that has rural agricultural designation.

The principal of Studio G Architecture and Luxus Design Build was going all in on the farm-to-table concept.

“Everybody talks about buildings and being sustainable, but I’ve always felt that there’s this loop that we needed to close,” Gardner said.

Having recently built a LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) home in the Spanish Trail residential enclave, he saw the design and building of the 2019 New American Remodel, a convention showpiece, as a chance to create something really unique.

Working with participating suppliers and contractors, he transformed a dilapidated 1950s, ranch-style home in downtown Las Vegas into a more than 5,000-square-foot, LEED-designated, luxury home with four kitchens, an orchard and surprisingly sublime views. The home at 2720 Pinto Lane was sold recently for $4.6 million.

Set back from the road near Rancho Drive, the remodel, which debuted as part of the International Builder’s Show in February, features a West Coast-meets-midcentury modern design aesthetic with flat rooflines, clerestory windows, and an exterior of textured stone, wood and metal.

To pay homage to the original home and its original owner, a Union Pacific Railroad engineer, railroad ties left on the property were incorporated into the design.

Criteria for the project required it to be a luxury home for upscale buyers, and that it be technologically innovative, energy-efficient, with an open floor plan. Gardner and his team removed walls to open up the space and extended the back of the residence wrap around the home’s critical focal point: a landscaped courtyard with a full kitchen (one of four in the home), an outdoor living room, a swimming pool, natural design elements and strategic shading.

Nearly all views from the main rooms look onto the courtyard. Moveable glass walls open to it, creating fluidly indoor-outdoor space connected to nature.

Recessed ceilings, indirect lighting, natural colors and textures create intimacy and warmth throughout. Porcelain floor tiles designed to look like concrete and clean lines and textures provide a sense of calm.

A cozy second floor sitting-room opens to the spacious master bedroom and an outdoor catwalk connects the bedroom to the second-story indoor-outdoor kitchen and party area, complete with a pizza stove and living room.

High-end features and elements aside, it’s the farm-to-table concept that closes the loop for Gardner. Behind the large, main kitchen on the first floor is a small prep kitchen with an urban cultivator for micro greens. The home’s ample refrigeration and freezers allow storage of anything harvested from the orchard out back, plus 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, who designed the 2013 and 2016 New American Home.

“When we have that detachment, we take a lot of things for granted.”

Photo by Alexander McQueen
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