ARCHITECTURE: the expression of volumetry

Revista Estilo de Vida Latin America

Richard Landry: The art of designing mansions

 Photo:  Sargent Photography Magazine Estilo de Vida Latin America  – Text: Ángela María Escobar

For more than three decades, luxury residential projects have been the strength of the Landry Design Group, founded and chaired by Canadian architect Richard Landry. A big part of the prestige of this architectural firm, based in Los Angeles, California, is that it has been the author of the fabulous mansions of various international celebrities from music, film, fashion, and entertainment. Among them are Mark Wahlberg, Sylvester Stallone, Eddie Murphy, Rod Stewart, Michel Bolton, Gisele Bündchen, and Kourtney Kardashian, only to mention a few.
Landry studied Architecture at Université de Montréal, in Québec, Canada, and he has a Diploma in Architecture and Urban Design from the Københavns Universitet, in Copenhagen, Denmark. He is also a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

 Photo:  Sargent Photography – Asia Palace 002

To learn more about the beginnings and the work of this luxury architecture firm, we talked to Landry, its president and founder, as well as with Brian Pinkett, its principal, who has been with Landry Design Group for more than 28 years and is currently focused on its overall organizational growth, with special emphasis on managing overseas projects.
Magazine Estilo de Vida Latin America:  36 years ago, you founded your firm, Landry Design Group, which nowadays enjoys great international prestige. How were your first years living in Los Angeles and how did you start your architectural firm in 1987? Do you remember who were your first clients, how did you get them to trust you when you were still unknown, and what were your first projects?.
Richard Landry:  Upon my arrival in Los Angeles, I was captivated by the vast array of architectural styles the city had to offer. I quickly learned that providing high-quality work and excellent service, being reliable, and exceeding expectations are essential to building a solid reputation. This reputation has been the driving force behind expanding our clientele and portfolio. Word of mouth has been a powerful tool in our growth, and we take pride in delivering exceptional results that keep our clients coming back.

Photo:  Sargent Photography – Beachfront Modern

MEDVLM:  Landry Design Group specializes in the design of luxury residential projects. Was this a branch of architecture you always wanted to pursue? Why do you prefer residential design over other projects such as corporate, hotel, or institutional?
Richard Landry:  In the early stages of my career, I was invited to join a residential architecture firm, and I quickly developed a deep passion for the field. My previous experience in commercial architecture proved invaluable, as it afforded me a comprehensive understanding of the nuances within various architectural branches. What I find most fulfilling about designing homes is the deeply personal connection it has with our clients. It is a privilege to create spaces that have a direct and meaningful impact on their lives.
MEDVLM:  You are worldwide known for being the architect of the homes of major celebrities in film, music, fashion, and entertainment. Do you remember the first celebrity whose home you designed, where, and what was the result of that work? Is there a particular star that has been especially enjoyable to work with? Why?
Richard Landry:  Our journey of designing custom homes for celebrities started with the renowned musician Kenny G. During the process of designing his home in Seattle we were fortunate to meet some of the client’s industry friends, some of whom were also celebrities. As a result, our work gained recognition in their circles, allowing us to work on many exceptional projects since then.
Although we have had the privilege of working with many clients over the years, I hold no single client in higher regard than the others. To me, every client embodies their unique brand of celebrity, and it is their individuality and distinct desires that continue to fuel our passion for residential architecture.

Photo:  Mapleton Estate – Rendering Courtesy of Landry Design Group

MEDVLM:  Your firm’s project portfolio is divided into two types of styles: modern and classic. What do you consider to be the main qualities of each one? Do you feel more identified, or do you prefer one of them and if so, why?
Brian Pinkett:  Our design portfolio spans a wide range of styles, from modern to classic and everything in between, without being confined to any particular aesthetic. When we design traditional homes, we focus on preserving the historical and fundamental principles of the chosen classical style while presenting it in a fresh and modern way. In contrast, when it comes to our contemporary and modern projects, we are able to showcase authentic creativity and innovation. This freedom allows us to explore imaginative ideas and push boundaries.
MEDVLM:  Is it different to design a home for a celebrity than for a non-celebrity client? Why? What is the working process like in each case?
Brian Pinkett:  Providing a personalized approach to every client is our highest priority, regardless of their occupation. Our team takes the time to get to know each individual and their lifestyle, so that we collaborate effectively to deliver a successful project. We like to involve the clients in the design process, making them an integral part of the project. Effective communication is one of the most important aspects of our work.

Photo:  Manolo Langis – Beverly Hills Residence

MEDVLM:  What do you consider to be the characteristics that differentiate Landry Design Group’s homes from those of other renowned architectural firms? What makes them unique?
Brian Pinkett:  Our primary focus revolves around our clients and the projects we undertake, and we are always committed to delivering the highest quality results. We respect the work and accomplishments of the many great architects in the business but don’t compare our work against theirs. Our clients collaborate with our firm because they like what we offer and resonate with our projects.
MEDVLM:  Besides architectural design, do you participate in the interior design of your projects, or do you work in alliance with a firm or interior designer? What are your preferences in interior design?
Brian Pinkett:  In addition to designing the architecture, we also design the architectural interiors for our projects which can include floor patterns, ceiling designs, kitchens, built-ins, closets, fireplaces, etc. These features are attached to the building. The interior designers handle the selection of furniture, fabrics, appliances, plumbing fixtures, etc. The best collaborations result in designs where you can’t tell where our work stops and their work begins – it’s truly integral.

Photo:  Matthew Millman – Atherton Residence

MEDVLM:  Have you received proposals to design houses in any Latin American country? Would you like to do so?
Brian Pinkett:  Not yet! We love doing work all around the world. Right now, our portfolio includes designs in 17 countries, and we look forward to expanding further.
MEDVLM:  Most of the houses in your portfolio are large mansions. What is the smallest house you have ever designed? Do you think it is possible to enjoy luxury in a few square feet? What would be the key?
Brian Pinkett:  Our team understands that luxury can take many forms and sizes, which is why our portfolio is so diverse in style and scale. The smallest structure we have designed is a 2,300-square-foot modern guest house in Beverly Hills, CA. The key to capturing luxury in a smaller space, such as this one, is applying the same level of refinement and attention to detail as we would to a palatial estate. The quality put into each project, from conception to completion, is what matters.