Nunzio Marc DeSantis Architects
Dallas-based architect Nunzio DeSantis of Nunzio Marc DeSantis Architects detail high- end architecture and how recent hospitality projects inform his nature-influenced homes and hotels.
Should architects and designers find new ways to integrate cozy, home-like details into their hospitality clients’ high-end hotels and resorts, or should high-end private residences reflect the world view and international travels of their owners in a polished hotel-like way? It’s one “chicken and egg” question father-and-son team Nunzio and Marc DeSantis with Nunzio Marc DeSantis Architects tackle with finesse on behalf of all of their clients.
Nunzio Marc DeSantis Architects (NDMA)’s founders and team have built up a reputation in Dallas and beyond as intuitive, high-end architects who can address their client’s demands in ways that suit their individual needs, tastes and preferences. With every job, Nunzio Marc DeSantis Architects translate landscape, geography and local history into their structures to provide guests with a definitive sense of place when staying at their properties. Some of the firm’s most noteworthy hospitality projects include Bishop’s Lodge, an Auberge Resorts Collection property and El Carlos Elegante, an elevated Mexican restaurant. However, they are charting new territory with The Ranch at Possum Kingdom, a residential project noted for its inventive juxtaposition of stone and glass.
"We hold the belief that good design and great attention to detail found in hotels can be replicated in home design without sacrificing practicality and everyday living, but to the contrary, it should enhance one’s life in every way.”
“As architects and designers, we are stewards of the site and the environment,” Nunzio DeSantis says. “We assess where the sun is and how it moves, how rain moves across the site, the direction of the wind, topography, existing trees and characteristics, each are critical to inform the plan.”
Whether the hospitality client wants their structure to have a contemporary feel, a more traditional look, history-driven ambiance, or something that falls in between; The Nunzio Marc DeSantis Architects team approaches every project with the goal of shaping each guest experience to be in harmony with the structure’s natural surroundings. Although the firm is not as well-known for its residential commissions (yet), word about the DeSantis duo’s comforting, authentic approach to hotel-inspired luxury has reached a new, residential clientele.
“Our [residential] clients tend to be well-traveled people who have seen, experienced and enjoyed many different cultures, communities and places,” DeSantis explains.“With this in mind, we believe a home should be just as good, if not better, than the best hotel or resort experience, yet obviously way more personal. We take our resort and hotel experiences and mold them around the personal needs of our homeowners, then overlay style, culture, adornment and location to create unique homes. We hold the belief that good design and great attention to detail found in hotels can be replicated in home design without sacrificing practicality and everyday living, but to the contrary, it should enhance one’s life in every way.”
A highlight of Texas Architecture is the Possum Kingdom residence. Located in Texas Hill Country, Possum Kingdom weaves together locally-sourced materials such as wood and stone in a way that conveys the values of “strength and honesty,”. A collection of small structures that make up the ranch are visually connected to the land to make the flow of the property smoother.
The interior showcases high-end architecture by featuring a grand 40-foot window that echoes the “wow” factor of great lodges and resorts, bringing the natural beauty of the outdoor landscape into the common spaces of the house. Nunzio Marc DeSantis Architects’ use of large dark wood beams and oversized Texas limestone fireplaces that rest on natural Texas stone or dark wood floors make up an atmosphere that beautifully complements and frames the owner’s collection of furniture, art and accessories.
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The Old Preston Hollow house in Dallas, another noteworthy Nunzio Marc DeSantis Architects commission, consists of a large outdoor courtyard that serves as the focal point of the residence. The house wraps around it to create a private enclave. This brings in several attributes of the surrounding area’s natural beauty–nearby cliffs, lakeside views, and prairies- outside the home inside through double sided glass. The result? A seamless connection to tree canopies and vivid floral gardens that surround the property.
“We have strived for a kind of clarity with recent residential commissions,” DeSantis explains. “We believe homes should welcome natural light… Kitchens, closets and baths are where our hospitality flair is best expressed. As both the core and the heart of the house, they bring lasting and memorable impressions that make the home a very personal dwelling. We tend to focus on the views and connectivity between indoor and outdoor spaces by using large format windows that are operable and break down barriers, creating fabulous interior-exterior experiences. White and tonal colors contrast with the permanence of stone walls and natural woods, making our homes clean, refreshing and warm.”
In other words, every Nunzio Marc Desantis Architects home design is thoroughly personalized. If one of the occupants loves to paint, for example, the DeSantis team ensures they will have access and exposure to the great north light to accommodate for the client’s interest. Walls that completely slide away, combining interior rooms and outdoor rooms, would be integrated into a design for a client who may enjoy entertaining. As every residential client has individual wants, desires, and tastes, the DeSantis Architect’s founders pride themselves on addressing those personalizations through design with nature at the forefront.
“Rather than chase trends, we look to create timeless beauty and homes that resonate with thoughtful grace and detail,” DeSantis says. “We achieve beauty by taking local color, texture, stone and wood details and delivering each in interesting ways, yet ways that are still understood by people. We believe when somebody enters a beautiful home, it is resolved, warm and approachable, and should make permanent occupants and their guests feel good.”