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Tresarca House

A single-family house outside Las Vegas, Nevada, designed by assemblageSTUDIO. A mesh-covered second story sits above the solid walls of the house’s first floor and cantilevers beyond it to create a shaded patio appropriate to the desert climate. Tresarca is a showcase of organic, nevada haven Tresarca is a sophisticated, modern structure with formal drought-resistant gardens desert oasis modern design that fuses function and form.

Tresarca-House-By-assemblageSTUDIO-Designlush-02-Bill-Timmerman-759x703 Tresarca House / assemblageSTUDIO + Designlush

© Bill Timmerman

The homeowners enlisted the expertise of interior designer Stephen Mitchell of DESIGNLUSH and architect Eric Strain of assemblageSTUDIO, who says that in a bid to avoid the verbose, the overdone and the processed, design simplification was embraced for this new build. “The forms represent a simple life, not one adorned with the glitz and glamour favoured by the gaming establishments of this valley or the large, overdone homes that line our streets, but one in which every detail matters,” says Eric.

Tresarca-House-By-assemblageSTUDIO-Designlush-08-Zack-Hussain-759x460 Tresarca House / assemblageSTUDIO + Designlush

© Zack Hussain

This innovative family home has four bedrooms and bathrooms, three powder rooms, a great room, office, gym, entertaining room, media room, wine room and family room. The idea was for Tresarca to have continuous flow from inside to out and, as such, it has extensive outdoor areas including a rooftop deck, four exterior courtyards and Natural light filters in beautifully through large windows that show off the spectacular views of the surrounding desert environment a pool.

Tresarca-House-By-assemblageSTUDIO-Designlush-11-Zack-Hussain-759x463 Tresarca House / assemblageSTUDIO + Designlush

© Zack Hussain

“The materials are kept clean and to a minimum,” says Eric. “This project is special as there is a blurring of the line between inside and out… space is not determined by the enclosure but through a new idea of space extending past perceived barriers into an expanded form of living indoors and out.”

Tresarca-House-By-assemblageSTUDIO-Designlush-20-Zack-Hussain-759x489 Tresarca House / assemblageSTUDIO + Designlush

© Zack Hussain

The home’s landscaping features a formal drought-tolerant design made for seasonal change, with signature object trees spread throughout the front yard. Once past the entry gate and into the property’s first court, there is an immediate sense of escape owing to a cooling of the area from the shading of the structure above and the more lush landscape variety. In fact, all of Tresarca’s courtyards are designed to shade and protect so that the owners can enjoy being outside despite the hot and dry climate.

Tresarca-House-By-assemblageSTUDIO-Designlush-25-Zack-Hussain-759x502 Tresarca House / assemblageSTUDIO + Designlush

© Zack Hussain

  • The wire mesh that forms the exterior of the home provides protection from the harsh sun as well as an interesting play of shadows. The shapes take on an organic feel, with subtle angles and the form of the mesh appearing like a chunk of rock. “The desert floor and nearby Red Rock Mountain formations gave inspiration to the mesh screen,” says Eric. “The screen became an important juxtaposition to the simple rectilinear forms hidden beyond.”
Tresarca-House-By-assemblageSTUDIO-Designlush-31-Designlush Tresarca House / assemblageSTUDIO + Designlush

© Designlush

“The mesh screen idea came from looking at various shadow patterns in the desert and the idea of the cracked desert floor,” said principal Eric Strain. On a practical level, the screen catches heat before it reaches the bedrooms, allowing daylight to filter in without raising the interior temperature. Aesthetically, “the idea was that the home sits at the base of the Red Rock Mountains, the background scenery is the stratification and the layering of the Red Rock Mountains,” – said Strain.

Tresarca-House-By-assemblageSTUDIO-Designlush-42-Designlush Tresarca House / assemblageSTUDIO + Designlush

© Designlush

Tresarca has been developed around a simple expression of forms and materials. Separated into functions, the forms create opportunities for protected courtyards, cross circulation within all the spaces and the penetration of indirect natural light. Glamour and glitz have been substituted with meaningful purpose.

Tresarca-House-By-assemblageSTUDIO-Designlush-53-Bill-Timmerman-759x473 Tresarca House / assemblageSTUDIO + Designlush

© Bill Timmerman


Nevada is a state of two worlds, one of glitz and glamour on the Las Vegas Strip which seeks to transplant imagery from around the globe to mesmerize the minds of 40 million tourists. While the latter develops its architecture from local materials, whose vernacular represents function over form.

Tresarca-House-By-assemblageSTUDIO-Designlush-61-Zack-Hussain-759x508 Tresarca House / assemblageSTUDIO + Designlush

© Zack Hussain

At Tresarca, the materials develop a layering of mass as you move from the basement to the private realm. Each layer is representational of the stratification of the nearby Red Rock Mountains. Change of materials provides the variety of textures associated with the rock formations. Crevices between the masses form an oasis where landscape and water cool the space. The mesh screen provides both a protection from the harsh sun on the interior spaces and a play of shadows among the forms.

Tresarca-House-By-assemblageSTUDIO-Designlush-77-Designlush Tresarca House / assemblageSTUDIO + Designlush

© Designlush

Blurring of the line between inside and out has been established throughout this home. Space is not determined by the enclosure but through the idea of space extending past perceived barriers into an expanded form of living indoors and out. Even in this harsh environment, one is able to enjoy this concept through the development of exterior courts which are designed to shade and protect. Reminiscent of the crevices found in our rock formations where one often finds an oasis of life in this environment.

Tresarca-House-By-assemblageSTUDIO-Designlush-78-Bill-Timmerman-759x460 Tresarca House / assemblageSTUDIO + Designlush

© Bill Timmerman

Project Data:

Project name: Tresarca House
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Coordinates: n/a

  • Type By Characteristic: Contemporary House, Luxury House
  • Type By Site: Desert House
  • Type By Size: Large House – (more than 650 sqm)
  • Type By Materials: Plaster / Mortar / Masonry House

Project Area: 727 sqm / 8,000 sq.ft
Status: Built
Completion Year: 2011


  • 2014 – The American-Architects Building of the Year Awards – Public Vote – Third place
  • 2012 – The American Institute of Architect (AIA Awards) – AIA Nevada Design Awards – Citation

The people:

Client / Owner / Developer: Private
Architects: assemblageSTUDIO – 817 S Main St #200, Las Vegas, NV 89109, United States
Interior designer: Designlush – 200 Lexington Ave # 415, New York, NY 10016, United States
Design Principal: Eric Strain, AIA
Project Team:

  • Drew Gregory, Clemente Cicoria, CJ Hoogland, Tony Diaz, Leon Cifala, Rene Smith, Rachel Tarr

Landscape Architect: Chris Winters/ assemblageSTUDIO
Lighting Artist: Annika Newell – Ambient Strata
General Contractor: Unique Custom Home
Structural Engineer: Mendenhall Smith Engineering
MEP/FP Engineer: Wright Engineers
Blackened Steel Panels: JD Stairs
Wire Mesh: Western Group, JD Stairs
Kitchen Cabinets: Bulthaup
Text Description: © Courtesy of assemblageSTUDIO, Designlush, homeanddesign, archpaper
Images: © assemblageSTUDIO, Designlush, Bill Timmerman, Zack Hussain

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