Home Magazine

This Desert Prefab Hits the Jackpot in Sin City

By Dwell @dwell
murren prefab residence exterior Sage Design Studios transformed the developer-flattened landscape into a picturesque desert setting with naturalistic undulations, meandering trails,and drought-tolerant shrubs. Image courtesy of Jill Paider . Project  Murren Residence Designer  Marmol Radziner

When Jim Murren, a Las Vegas–based casino executive, approached the Los Angeles firm Marmol Radziner for a modern house to complement his hillside desert lot, he hit an architectural jackpot.

murren prefab residence steel exterior Near the main house, James Turrell’s pyramidal Skyspace structure invites visitors into its dark recess for a chance to view the heavens through a perspective-altering cutout. Most of Murren’s museum-quality art collection is inside the house, including a Robert Rauschenberg piece, a set of Andy Warhol prints, and a hologram by Turrell. Image courtesy of Jill Paider . Murren’s previous home was a Palladian-style villa, but houses like that no longer interested him. “They are not forward-looking,” he says. As chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International, one of the development companies responsible for Vegas’s LEED Gold CityCenter buildings, Murren was also interested in green architecture. “I support the creation of buildings that have a positive environmental impact, and in Las Vegas I think you need to embrace the desert,” he says. murren prefab residence indoor outdoor lounge space The house’s slatted, anodized aluminum canopies and indoor-outdoor spaces flow into one another. The resin Opal lounge and Square Cube table, with pillows and cushions covered in Sunbrella fabrics, and the teak and powder-coated cast aluminum Silver Dining swivel rocker, are all from the Veneman Collections. Image courtesy of Jill Paider . While mulling over design ideas for his house, Murren read about Leo Marmol and Ron Radziner’s multi-award-winning 1998 restoration of Richard Neutra’s iconic 1946 Kaufmann House in Palm Springs, California. Impressed, Murren sought out the firm. He discovered that they were also renowned for built-to-last, steel-frame, prefabricated homes that can be installed efficiently almost anywhere—and that Marmol and Radziner had previously collaborated with the artist James Turrell, whose work Murren collects. Murren toured Turrell’s Roden Crater in Flagstaff, Arizona—an oculus to the sky, carved from an extinct volcano—and began envisioning a steel-and-glass building that meshed with its environment.

However, fine modern buildings are relatively rare in Las Vegas, where builders are inured to making Caesarian palaces and stucco villas and lack experience in executing clean-lined details. Importing such skills is costly. After considering the site and weighing Murren’s interest in eco-friendly building, “prefab was clearly the best and greenest way to go,” Radziner says. Murren, no stranger to construction, agreed that faster on-site assembly would greatly reduce the inevitable environmental impact of his new home.

murren prefab residence steel-frame exterior
Twenty-two 12-foot-wide steel-frame modules were combined to form nine to 14-foot-high rooms that were stacked and bolted together. Ten deck modules added more than 4,700 square feet of sheltered outdoor space. Image courtesy of Jill Paider . The modular two-story steel-and-glass structure that Radziner and his team devised sits atop a windy ridge on the city’s western edge, near Red Rock Canyon. Its prefabricated components—steel-frame modules that were prepared with finished floors, walls, doors, and fenestration, or were designed as canopied or trellised decks—were all made in Marmol Radziner’s home-building factory, near Los Angeles, and trucked over to the one-and-a-half-acre site. “By going prefab, we compressed our construction time,” says Radziner. “During the four months it took to prepare the two-level concrete basement garage and foundation, the home’s room modules were already being manufactured in California.”

The C-plan house Murren moved into three months later—when the interiors and finish work were completed—forms a sheltered rear courtyard. The building, split into two wings linked by a glass-enclosed steel structure, offers public and private zones for Murren and his family. The two-story north wing contains the bedrooms and master bath, while the single-story south wing, dedicated to the kitchen, library, and family room, sits alongside a swimming pool, bordered by a glass-walled pavilion for formal dining. Between the two wings, a below-grade open-air courtyard offers a shady place for Murren’s athletic sons to play. A high-ceilinged, 48-foot-long great room—made of four modules and nearly spanning the length of the courtyard—links the house’s two wings and completes the ensemble. From the glass-walled great room, facing east, one can see the glittering Las Vegas Strip. This is their first prefabricated home, but “my wife and I don’t see any operational differences between this and other houses we have lived in,” Murren says. “It’s not as if we had to give up anything in terms of comfort or quality to go green.” In fact, because Marmol Radziner’s prefabs have to be trucked to their sites, they have built-in enhancements, such as welded, torque-resistant steel framing and factory-fitted doors and glass panels that are braced for winds on the highway. When sandstorms buffet the building, Murren never worries.

Outside, in the sloped rear garden, Turrell’s Skyspace, a four-sided, rust-colored concrete pyramid, contrasts pleasingly with the rectangularity of the prefab. While its ostensible purpose is to provide a square opening through which individuals can observe subtle changes in the sky, this art installation has taught Murren to see his house in a different light.

“Sometimes, when I walk back up the hill with my dogs, I notice how its canopies frame—and are framed by—the sky,” Murren says. “And after dark, when the lights first come on, my favorite spot to stand is not in my home but outside, looking in.”


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Big Food Giants Manipulate Public Health Policy in China

    Food Giants Manipulate Public Health Policy China

    Coca-Cola is at it again. As soda sales decline in the United States and Europe, beverage companies look to emerging economies like China for growth. And, it... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Dietdoctor
    DIET & WEIGHT, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING, MEDICINE
  • Jewellery for a Precious You

    Jewellery Precious

    Jewellery is always close to a woman’s heart. It completes her look and boost confidence. Considering the changing trends in jewellery fashion, it becomes... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Dr.jenifer Sayyed
    LIFESTYLE
  • Rajshri Productions’ Next Is A Film On Friendship | Hum Chaar | Trailer

    Abhishek Dixit’s debut feature film Hum Chaar is a Bollywood film made under the banner of Rajshri’s film. Hum Chaar is written and directed by Abhishek Dixit. Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Themoviean
    ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES
  • Saint Paul the First Hermit

    Saint Paul First Hermit

    Today is the feast day of Saint Paul the hermit. This is a sweet and delicate Oatmeal Bread topped with rolled oats and naturally sweetened with agave. Saint... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Veronica46
    FOOD & DRINK, RECIPES
  • Irupathiyonnaam Noottaandu | Teaser | Pranav Mohanlal | Arun Gopy

    Arun Gopy’s Irupathiyonnaam Noottaandu is an upcoming Malayalam action-drama feature film starring Pranav Mohanlal and Zaya David in the lead roles. Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Themoviean
    ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES
  • A Year Of Body Positivity

    Year Body Positivity

    Last January, as I sat there on New Years eve all set to make the same old resolutions I've made year after year for as long as I can remember, I realised how... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Sparklesandstretchmarks
    DIARIES, SELF EXPRESSION
  • Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – Jan 2019

    Garden Bloggers Bloom 2019

    Euphorbia rigidaWhen I went out to take the photos for this blog post I was surprised at how much was in flower dotted around the garden. Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Patientgardener
    GARDENING, HOME

Magazines