The High End sat down with Kevin Venger to discuss his experience designing ultra-luxury buildings, working with industry greats, and meeting buyer demands.
By Hannah Fakhrzadeh
Kevin Venger, the co-developer behind Miami’s Regalia, Ten Museum Park and Paramount on the Bay has always been intrigued by the concept of developing and designing beautiful and luxurious buildings. “I have been developing, designing and building since I was a child. From my first self-performed treehouse to the art of the high-rise tower, I have always been intrigued by the concept.” To find out more about Venger’s designs and concepts, we sat down with him to see what he had to say.
What peaked your interest in building and developing in the luxury real estate market?
I am always fascinated by the near-endless possibilities of the luxury real estate market, because the buyer’s demand is not the norm. The ability to implement first-to-market materials, finishes and work with the world’s best designers affords a sense of excitement and thrill for me.
Considering the fact that expectations are high for properties in the industry, what are some of the hyper-specific design needs billionaires are asking for?
Billionaires with multiple homes around the world no longer want to invest extensive time into building out a new residence’s interior space, which often can take two years to complete and requires time involved in the selection process when working with an interior designer. Rather, they are seeking a more turnkey experience in which they can purchase a home with the millwork, finishes and often interior furnishings already in place to quickly move in.
Requests such as floating staircases and glass-faced pools are becoming more common. How do you explain the rise in the desire for such artistic elements?
Today’s home needs to equally be artistic and functional. Rare and unique elements are serving more than ever as conversation pieces, which are memorable to those who visit the residence and on a daily basis for the owner. From the floating staircase to the glass-faced pool in Regalia’s $35 million Beach House condo residences currently for sale, one cannot escape the exclusive sense of place in this home because of its one-off features. Those who purchase a residence such as this demand no less, and want to ensure their living experience cannot be easily replicated.
Can you discuss the climate of Miami’s $20 million and up real estate market?
While certain regions of the world have experienced financial woes, the ultra-luxury sector remains insulated and continues to draw interest due to its long-term value within the marketplace. As a result, the ultra-affluent market does not tend to fluctuate in the same manner.
Where do you see the market going in the future?
Miami is poised to reach a level of global attention as it continues to grow. With increased activity from China, Dubai and beyond, the next 10 to 15 years of Miami’s legacy will be defined by new foreign interest and prime investment opportunities for those who deem the city as the “new” London or New York in terms of projected future prices and its art, culture and lifestyle.
One of your developments, Regalia, is one of Miami’s most sought-after oceanfront towers. Can you discuss the inspiration and idea behind it and what can be expected from it?
Our level of expectation exceeded the archetypal luxury condominium found in Miami, with our finishes comparable to the finest residences in New York City. For our buyers, we sought to create a curated living experience that was highly intimate in nature, with only 39 residences each residing on their own private full floor, which is very unique to the U.S., and further transcends beyond their residence into the amenity spaces in order to still feel livable and residential.
Inspiration behind Regalia’s exterior are the waves and wind; we felt it was important to have a meaning to its facade and be place-specific. The design embodies the beauty of Sunny Isles Beach and its oceanfront surroundings. Given Regalia’s location, the building marks the gateway between Sunny Isles and Golden Beach, so its design must be impactful, yet welcoming.
For the interiors of the residences, you tasked Charles Allem to design it. What made you choose Allem?
Charles Allem is a master at designing truly livable interior spaces that appeal to all tastes. Being that Regalia has many international residents, it was crucial to design for everyone, with subtle mixes of materials, color, textures and artwork that seamlessly work together. Allem created an ambience that flows to naturally unify the interior and exterior design palate.
Another design you are behind is One Thousand Museum; can you discuss the idea behind that and what it offers?
One Thousand Museum celebrates an exterior facade (“exoskeleton”) design accentuated by curvaceous flow that continues elegantly into the interiors. This concept has never been seen on this side of the world. One Thousand Museum will greatly make a design impact within the downtown Miami urban setting, forever changing the skyline as a visionary masterpiece. As the only ultra-luxury building in the area with just 83 residences, it will remain a legacy project for Miami and another for Zaha Hadid.
The architect behind One Thousand Museum is Zaha Hadid. Can you describe Hadid and her legacy?
Her legacy speaks for itself already. She is one of the most fabulous individuals and unique designers that I have ever worked with. Since Miami will mark her first high-rise residential tower in the Western Hemisphere and her love of the city was well known (as she had a permanent residence here), One Thousand Museum is a really special project that adds to her worldwide legacy.
You’re behind many other luxury buildings like the Four Seasons Hotel & Residences Miami, Ten Museum Park and Paramount on the Bay. What have you learned from developing these projects that helped you with Regalia?
A residential project’s design, services, operations and use of materials all have to be in perfect harmony in order to create an ultra-luxury, five-star lifestyle experience. These elements cannot function on their own for true luxury to exist.
Top left photo courtesy Neoscape; top middle photo courtesy Ken Hayden; top right photo courtesy Catapult 13