If you think the most expensive home ever sold in Las Vegas would be a baroque estate with elaborate fountains, gold-leafed furniture, and mirrored walls reflecting crystal chandeliers, you’re so three decades ago. Or you’re Wayne Newton.
Luxury homes in Vegas are now highly sophisticated, especially on the exclusive hillsides surrounding the valley. Those hills offer views of the Strip that can be observed and appreciated—from a distance.
The epitome of the aesthetic that celebrates both the beauty of the desert and the glitz of Sin CIty is a sleek, 15,000-square-foot mansion dubbed Vegas Modern 001.
It’s a design so emblematic of the area that the term “Vegas Modern” was trademarked by the home’s developers, the designers/builders Blue Heron.
Their creation sold in late June for $25 million, the highest price ever paid for a private residence in the Las Vegas area.
But it won’t be the last. The new owner, the billionaire LoanDepot founder Anthony Hsieh (no relation to the late Zappos magnate and legendary Las Vegas supporter Tony Hsieh), agreed to lease the home back to Blue Heron for two years. That leaseback will allow the developers to showcase their work to other deep-pocketed buyers, in the hope of building even more modern masterpieces.
Inside Vegas Modern 001
I’d done my research and scoped out numerous photos and videos of the property before I made my way up to the cushy McDonald Highlands precipice where Vegas Modern 001 is perched.
But no two-dimensional image could have prepared me for what I’d see when I passed through the intentionally narrow front gate. I found an awe-inspiring view of the valley below, framed by water, stone, and glass.
Blue Heron’s senior product designer, Logan Ziegler, guided my tour. He was not kidding when he told us that Vegas Modern 001 is a “constant journey of surprise,”
He planned my visit to take place at sunset, so I could see the dazzling desert colors of the day give way to the sparkling, velvety colors of the night.
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The views are so mesmerizing that visitors could easily become distracted, miss a step, and soak their Louboutins. Ubiquitous cobalt-hued pools flow through and around the house. An intriguing walkway ends abruptly at a tranquil pool.
Blurred lines of living space
Speaking of aquatic features, the property has no less than three swimming pools. One sits right in the middle of the great room—sort of.
Cast aside your ideas of indoor and outdoor life, because interior is a relative term applied to this home. Many of the walls are made of glass, and silently disappear with the touch of a button.
Is this space a living room or a patio? Is this an indoor pool or an outdoor pool? Or is this luxurious tub outside or in? In most cases, the home provides you with the flexibility to choose and define your spaces, based on your mood.
Wild for the walls
I’ve never been so intrigued by the walls of a house—even those disappearing transparent glass walls.
If there is a plain white wall anywhere in the home, I missed it.
Some of the walls are made of natural materials, like wood, marble, stone and glass tiles. Many are lined with floor-level planters filled with succulents.
My personal favorite walls were made of a warm, peachy-colored Metaquartzite stone, unique to Las Vegas. The rock was sourced from the nearby Mojave desert and processed by local artisans.
Hidden features behind the walls
Another fascinating feature of those walls? The passageways, water closets, and endless storage spaces hidden behind them.
Door knobs and pulls are déclassé in this mansion. In Vegas Modern 001, it’s all about gently pressing the right panel on the wall to reveal one of the nine bathroom facilities.
That may strike some people as overly complex, but the layout of Vegas Modern is actually very simple:
There are three stories built on a 1.26-acre mountainside lot, with as many rooms as possible oriented toward views of the valley below.
The largest 3-bedroom home ever?
Visitors are often surprised to learn there are only three bedrooms in the 15,000-square-foot home,
But what the home lacks in quantity of bedrooms is made up for in quality. The master suite, on the main level, features a sunken sleeping area, a reflection pool, and a kitchenette. The suite has two tubs and showers, both inside and out.
Calling the other two bedrooms “guest suites” does them a disservice.
One is dubbed the “Sky Suite,” because its views and reflections make you feel as if you’re soaring above the Earth. It features a walk-in closet with a washer and dryer, as well as a kitchenette.
The other bedroom suite opens to a spacious living-room-style deck, with a fire pit and a dramatic oculus opening overhead.
Beyond the bedrooms
While it only offers three bedrooms as currently configured, several other rooms could easily be converted to additional bedrooms, among them a light-filled office casita.
Much of the square footage accommodates an endless array of entertaining spaces. Lounge and living room areas with giant screen TVs and cozy built-in seating can be found throughout the home.
You’ll also find elegant bars on every floor. One of those bars boasts transparent, geometric lucite barstools—specifically selected not to detract from the black marble bar behind them.
Much of the home’s furniture was custom-made to fit the Vegas Modern aesthetic, and all furnishings were included in the final sale price.
There are also four full modern kitchens—two inside, two outside, and there are numerous kitchenettes throughout the residence. I quickly lost count of them all, but it’s safe to say no one will ever be far from sustenance.
The builders were hyperaware of designing Vegas Modern to appeal to all the senses. They incorporated a biophilic design aesthetic, highlighting the convergence of living spaces with nature.
As Ziegler told me, “The connection to nature—water, plants, stone—in the house is calming.”
Beyond the natural world, the home also employs the latest in smart home technology. A smart ecosystem allows residents to sync the home with their circadian rhythm, shifting the lighting and temperature inside to be in harmony with the outdoors. It’s also been outfitted with the largest residential solar array in the region.
I came to realize that every square foot—every square inch—of Vegas Modern 001 has a plan and a purpose.
Understanding and absorbing all the features and amenities would take me a while, but I imagine that’s part of the intrigue of living in a home of this stature.
Shortly after this sale was announced, a wealthy buyer from California set another residential real estate record.
Land records show a buyer paid $36 million for four contiguous parcels in the Las Vegas area’s elite Summit Club. The lots are currently vacant, but rumor has it that the buyer plans to build a lavish estate on the property. We’ll keep you posted on its progress.