Former Frank Lloyd Wright apprentice helps design Lake Las Vegas home — VIDEO

Sited on a 1.2-acre lot, the two-story, 8,838-square-foot desert-contemporary home is listed for $7.5 million. (Synergy/Sotheby’s International Realty)

Vernon D. Swaback, FAIA, FAICP, was a Frank Lloyd Wright apprentice at the age of 16. He is the founding partner of Arizona-based Swaback Architects + Planners. (Swaback Architects + Planners)

This 8,838-square-foot desert-contemporary home is at Lake Las Vegas on the North Shore. (Synergy/Sotheby’s International Realty)
The home has two levels connected by a floating staircase. (Synergy/Sotheby’s International Realty)

The master bedroom has a view of Lake Las Vegas. (Bill Hughes Real Estate Millions)
Water’s Edge’s European-inspired kitchen features a double island, professional-grade appliances and walk-in pantry. (The Bill Hughes Real Estate Millions)
The home has a large pool area and fire features. (Synergy/Sotheby’s International Realty)
The balcony has a view of Lake Las Vegas. (Synergy/Sotheby’s International Realty)
The dining room. (Synergy/Sotheby’s International Realty)
The balcony has a view of Lake Las Vegas. (Synergy/Sotheby’s International Realty)

Water’s Edge is in North Shore at Lake Las Vegas. (Synergy/Sotheby’s International Realty)

Showcasing 300-degree lake views, Water’s Edge serves as an oasis in the desert.

An exquisite Lake Las Vegas show home, Water’s Edge is on the lake’s North Shore at 23 Summer House Drive in the exclusive Estates at Reflection Bay. The home’s timeless design was founded on the principles of the iconic Frank Lloyd Wright.

“Every part is related to the whole,” said Vernon D. Swaback, FAIA, FAICP, about Wright’s philosophy of learning from nature. “There are no individual parts. It’s all one, kind of like nature.”

Swaback, founding partner of Arizona-based Swaback Architects + Planners, trained under the famed architect as his youngest apprentice.

“I was with him for the last two, almost three years of his life,” recalled Swaback, who was 16 years old when he began his apprenticeship. “I always felt that I was blessed by the timing. I was there when he was perhaps at his creative best, so I’ve been able to spend a lifetime doing what I learned. That’s pretty special.”

Under the guidance and teaching of Swaback, Mike D. Wetzel, AIA, NCARB, of Swaback’s firm led the design of Water’s Edge.

“It occurred to me this would be the perfect signing-over moment,” Swaback said about handing over the design reins to Wetzel. “Instead of Mike being involved as my support system, he would become the architect. To me, there is no greater measure of my own success than Mike Wetzel,” Swaback added. “And that award-winning property to show for it.”

In addition to Swaback Architects + Planners, Etta Cowdrey, CEO of Studio V Interior, Architecture and Design, was the project manager, with Merlin Contracting providing general contractor services.

Sited on a 1.2-acre lot, the two-story, 8,838-square-foot desert contemporary home features four bedrooms, including a private master suite, five full baths, a custom LED light package, a full bar with three temperature-controlled wine refrigerators, a theater, a private office with separate exterior access and is wired for a Crestron home automation system.

Water’s Edge is listed as fully furnished for $7.5 million through Gene Northup, broker and owner of Synergy/Sotheby’s International Realty.

Reflecting the diversity of its surroundings was important in the overall design. The interior showcases a soft color palette blending warm grays and whites. It features 20-foot ceilings, clerestory windows and stunning lake views from almost every room of the home.

“The home has a strong visual and physical connection to the lake,” Wetzel said. “We were thoughtful with all spaces and wanted every space to have some experience with the lake.”

The experience unfolds upon approach where a 10-foot glass door draws the eye out to the amazing water vistas through another glass door on the other side.

A dramatic 20-foot, Coronado stone-encased fireplace surround, accented with backlit wood panels, serves as a powerful focal point for the main living area. As a sophisticated touch to the design, a 10-foot black metal chandelier hangs in the center of the expansive room.

“We were able to include this stunning chandelier and the fireplace to embrace the full height of the two-story space,” Cowdrey said. “It’s very dramatic.”

The open floor plan continues outdoors through glass pocket doors located in key areas throughout the home.

“One of its greatest features is the indoor-outdoor living feeling you get from every room,” said Patrick Parker, president of Raintree Investment Corp., which is developing Lake Las Vegas. “Whether the glass doors are open to create an outdoor living room within the comfort of home or relaxing in the master bedroom with a panoramic view of the lake and mountains.”

Water’s Edge’s European-inspired kitchen features a double island, professional-grade appliances and a walk-in pantry. The gray oak flooring and chalky dove-gray painted cabinetry contrast its stark white quartz counters.

“I think that palette is going to be timeless,” Cowdrey said. “It has clean lines, but the way we softened it was by adding softer textures and palettes to the home. Colors that are going to blend off the landscape but also the pretty blue water.”

The private master suite features a separate sitting area distinguished by another Coronado stone-encased fireplace. Lake views immerse the room through expansive windows and pocket doors opening to a private patio and pool deck.

A stunning, raised four-sided negative-edge spa and 50-foot rectangular pool showcase a 30-foot waterfall edge that appears to seamlessly connect to the lake while bordered by a 30-foot linear fire feature. Each of these elements complements the tranquil lake beyond.

The home’s floating staircase leads to an upper level complete with views into the lower great room and sophisticated chandelier. The second story features three en suite bedrooms, a loft and a flex room that can easily be converted into another bedroom. Lake vistas are the focal point from several upper decks.

The home’s orientation captures all the primary views, while the cantilever roof provides the maximum shade.

According to Wetzel, the landscaping is the “final touch to the canvas, bringing the entire project into completion.”

“Placement of the landscape complements the architecture in the forms, species and sizes selected,” Wetzel said. “Trees and appropriate landscape species were placed to provide privacy while not interfering with the views.”

The home features its own private porte-cochere entrances bordered by a dramatic stone wall, as well as a private sandy beach and boat dock.

“We wanted to create unique surprises of design,” Cowdrey said. “That is what they hired us to do, give something you haven’t seen before.”

The exclusive estate was a culmination of over two-and-a-half years of planning and work. Design work began on the home in 2016, with construction completed in March of this year.

According to Parker, the residence represents more than a luxury show home for Lake Las Vegas as it is the first time an ultra-luxury contemporary house was built in the community.

“We think that is very important for Las Vegas, because it extends this modern architecture beyond a few communities,” Parker said. “I’m thrilled how it turned out.”

About the lakeside home

Price: 7.5 million

Location: 23 Summer House, Estates at Reflection Bay on the North Shore of Lake Las Vegas.

Interior Size: 1.2-acre lot; 8,838 square feet; four en suite bedrooms, including a private master; five full bathrooms and a powder room; three-car garage.

Features: Custom two-story home with 300-degree lake and mountain views, theater, office with private exterior entrance, gourmet kitchen with double island, gray oak flooring throughout, professional-grade appliances, full bar with three wine refrigerators, granite counters, formal living room with Coronado stone surround, custom LED light package, two gas fireplaces, 20-foot ceilings, outdoor kitchen, 30-foot rectangular fire feature, infinity-edge pool/spa, motor court area, powered window coverings, wired for home automation, fully furnished.

History: Built in 2019. Designed by Mike D. Wetzel AIA, NCARB of Swaback Architects + Planners under the guidance of Vernon D. Swaback, FAIA, FAICP, a former Frank Lloyd Wright apprentice. Etta Cowdrey, CEO of Studio V Interior, Architecture and Design, was the project manager with Merlin Contracting providing general contractor services.

Listing: Water’s Edge is listed through Gene Northup, broker and owner of Synergy/Sotheby’s International Realty.

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