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Designing Dreams

Khoury Vogt Architects Receives Top Honor

By Jordan Staggs

Khoury Vogt Architects (KVA) has become known for its dreamscape-worthy town projects along the Northwest Florida coast. The unique Gulfside communities of Alys Beach and Kaiya Beach Resort have inspired and delighted homeowners and visitors alike. As the town architects for these communities and other stunning luxury homes across the area and beyond, including South Central Florida, Nashville, Miami, and the Caribbean, KVA is a bastion of excellence in architecture, interior design, town planning, and more.

Founding partners and principal architects Marieanne Khoury-Vogt and Erik Vogt, are excited to celebrate as they recently received one of the most prestigious awards in the field of architecture. The Institute of Classical Architecture & Art (ICAA) has selected KVA as the 2023 recipient of the Arthur Ross Award for Excellence in the Classical Tradition in the Architecture division.

A stunning private corner residence in Alys Beach, Florida, designed by Khoury Vogt Architects and built by Alys Beach Construction. The custom wood details, including the two-story oriel around the outdoor lounge and the courtyard pergola, were crafted by E. F. San Juan of Youngstown, Florida. | Photo by Jack Gardner, courtesy of KVA

Established in 1982, named for noted Manhattan philanthropist, investor, military veteran, and classicism devotee, and co-established with architecture critic Henry Hope Reed, this award recognizes the lifetime achievements and contributions of architects, painters, sculptors, artisans, interior designers, landscape designers, educators, patrons, and others dedicated to preserving and advancing the classical tradition. The Arthur Ross Awards are considered tantamount to the Academy Awards of the design world, “acknowledging and honoring a living, human-centered tradition while building upon those ideals for invention, progress, and a future-oriented trajectory,” according to ICAA.

“Receiving the 2023 Arthur Ross Award for Architecture is the highest honor of our professional careers to date,” says Marieanne. “We are humbled and honored by their recognition of our work, especially when we realize we are in the company of many past winners we have long admired. We are indebted to many of them personally for mentoring us and championing our work, so we feel especially grateful that their support allowed us even to be considered.”

The Todd Residence in Alys Beach, Florida, is a courtyard row home by Khoury Vogt Architects and Davis Dunn Construction, featuring more custom architectural millwork, doors, and gates by E. F. San Juan. | Photo by Nicola Harger, courtesy of Alys Beach

KVA has been integral in realizing the vision of Alys Beach, Florida, a keystone project that Marieanne and Erik describe as being a twenty-year journey. They have guided the designs of the homes and shared spaces down to every thoughtful detail. As full-time residents, the depth of their involvement and understanding in implementing the original master plan of DPZ CoDesign, and the collaborative design code, is paramount. “We continue to be grateful for the many opportunities that this town and its founder have given us, up to and including several projects on the boards that we are excited to see come to fruition in the next year. We will have to leave it to the sales team to say more about these.”

The defining architectural footprint of Alys Beach was thoughtfully and sentimentally sculpted by KVA. It created a canvas to which other world-class architects have since added their flourishes through residential and commercial designs, resulting in one of the most beautiful New Urbanist towns in the United States—possibly the world.

“We are also excited about our continuing contributions to Kaiya Beach Resort, next door to Alys,” Marieanne expounds. “These include, in coming years, a boutique hotel with a state-of-the-art spa and fitness center. The developer, Jason Romair, has been unwavering in his vision and faith in us to realize it.”

The Todd Residence in Alys Beach, Florida, is a courtyard row home by Khoury Vogt Architects and Davis Dunn Construction, featuring more custom architectural millwork, doors, and gates by E. F. San Juan. | Photo by Nicola Harger, courtesy of Alys Beach

KVA’s architectural language has been described as a union between the modern form and function of the present day and the vernacular traditions, drawing on influences of the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East, with distinctively Moroccan characteristics. Its principals also credit their success to working with their incredible internal team and the builders and artisans outside their firm. “KVA’s success is very much due to the extraordinary team we have,” says Erik. “We have been fortunate to be able to attract real talent here, and they work alongside us through each project.”

Marieanne adds, “The extraordinary team of local builders and craftsmen here in Northwest Florida is remarkable, and we at KVA take advantage of that! There is nothing we can draw that they cannot build. And they do it with relish and excitement. Having worked in this area for twenty years, we have developed long and enduring relationships with many; this is something we cherish and nurture.”

Travel and a life of simple luxury inspire KVA’s many projects in Alys Beach and beyond. | Photos by Jack Gardner, courtesy of KVA

E. F. San Juan, a custom architectural moulding, millwork, and cabinetry firm located in nearby Youngstown, Florida, has worked closely with the KVA team on many custom homes in Alys Beach since the town’s inception. Their wooden courtyard gates, screens, doors, columns, and other trim—plus impact-rated glass windows and doors—are some of the custom details that make a house a dream home. “We’d like to congratulate our friends and longtime colleagues at Khoury Vogt Architects on being named the winner of the 2023 Arthur Ross Award for Architecture!” says company president Edward San Juan. “We are proud to have worked on many incredible projects as part of the KVA team in the beautiful community of Alys Beach. Thank you for your partnership, and congrats again on this well-deserved honor!”

Alys Beach’s vice president of marketing and communications, Stacy Hamilton, adds, “As Alys Beach Town Architects, Erik and Marieanne have shaped not only Alys Beach and their broad portfolio of works, but the world of architecture itself. This award recognition, based on KVA’s full body of work to date, is a distinction that acknowledges their place as icons within the architectural realm.”

Courtyard living is a staple of Alys Beach, whose town architects at KVA have cited influences from Moroccan riads, among other international design elements, in much of their work. | Photo by Nicola Harger, courtesy of Alys Beach

Of the firm’s success, Marieanne says, “It’s not so much the particular projects that we think contribute to whatever success we may have; it’s our clientele who trust in and inspire us to achieve our best work. We have always seen a direct correlation between engaged, thoughtful clients—indeed patrons—and our best projects. We have been very fortunate to have many of these patrons along the way.”

No doubt this engagement with their patrons and the creative thinking and solutions of Marieanne, Erik, and their team are to thank for gaining such an honor as the ICAA’s Arthur Ross Award. The American nonprofit membership organization, headquartered in New York City, chooses its honorees annually by a selection committee of distinguished members in the fields of classical architecture and the arts. The 2023 awards ceremony will occur in May at the University Club in New York City.

This home by Khoury Vogt Architects sold for a record-breaking $16.9 million in 2021 by Scenic Sotheby's International Realty!

Please join us in congratulating KVA on this momentous honor! We look forward to seeing what is to come for this incredibly talented team.

— V —

Head to KhouryVogt.com to learn more and see more projects. Visit AlysBeach.com or follow them on social media @alysbeach for more information on the community.

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