Quinn Boesenecker, president of Pinnacle Archi- tectural Studio, could be called the mad scientist of Las Vegas luxury home design. A 39-year-old largely self-taught architect, he took just a few vocational drafting classes before completing much of his education (and passing state architect licensing exams) on the job. Back in high school, Boesenecker, then an aspiring computer programmer, had actu- ally taught his drafting teacher how to harness the class’s previously unused computer for producing blueprints. The same happened when he went to work for esteemed Las Vegas architect Richard Luke, with whom Boesenecker spent a decade; he helped modernize the firm’s computer-aided drafting tools while learning the nuances of architecture: how to make clients’ dreams reality.
Today Pinnacle, with a staff of 13, is one of the only Vegas firms that experienced no layoffs during the Great Recession of 2008. The firm is rooted in Boesenecker’s whiz-kid-like gift for the technical side of architecture, as well as a bor- derless style. Pinnacle regularly designs not just houses but also lighting, furniture, landscaping, interior design and manages construction.
That varied skillset exemplifies the Desert Con- temporary Residence, which is both a demonstra- tion project for Pinnacle and a home for Boese- necker. Although primarily a contemporary style, it also shows a nuanced incorporation of Medi- terranean, Asian and Southwest vernaculars. “To pick something that will appeal to everybody is not so easy,” the architect explains. “We wanted a house that is contemporary but is still warm.”
That warmth is achieved in part by the firm’s ingenuity with materials. Whether it’s a rock sculpture inside their own custom made fireplace, bamboo embedded in plastic to form transparent wall space above the kitchen cabinets, a copper ceiling or an entry bridge over a water feature, the firm uses a variety of textures and surfaces to keep one’s eye moving around the room. Every inch of the house is thought out for maximum effect, from the glass-tiled swimming pool to bamboo pieces of varying sizes embedded into limestone flooring. “Our clients who have seen this said, ‘Can we put steel in the floor or can I put walnut?’” Boesenecker adds. “Whether you loved that house or not, you could tell a lot went into it. A lot of detailing. Whether somebody likes contemporary or whether they like some- thing more Tuscan, a woody feeling, they both got it.” Even at the entrance the home’s iron gate was custom-designed to match the ironwork at the courtyard entrance, and the driveway itself is clad with basaltic lava rocks.
The firm also relies on detailed site analysis to maximize views. In a city where views of the neon-ensconced Strip are at a premium, for example, Pinnacle used on this project, as with others, a detailed computer-mapping of the to- pography to pinpoint particular casinos and ori- ent sight lines of the house accordingly (with an extra outdoor room on top). And it was all on a site sold on the basis of not having a proper Strip view. That same technology helps orient the house to solar angles so as to minimize summer sun and maximize it in winter.
Pinnacle’s business success has increasingly come from their variety of services. The Desert Con- temporary Residence, from its media room to its wellness area, its lanai and game room to powder rooms, children’s bedrooms study and second master bedroom, was done entirely by Pinnacle.
“Every time I’d done a house before I’d counted on someone else. On this one I said, ‘Let me just take it all and if it goes bad, it’s my house,’” Boese- necker recalls. “I really wanted to know how far you can take it. We’re always told we have limitations. Can we make our own fireplaces? Can we put cop- per on the ceiling? Can we make our own lighting fixtures? That’s been tremendous for our business. We can oversee the building, the interiors, the land- scaping, everything—and make sure you’re getting the best shake.”