Native Nevadan finds Southern Nevada a blank canvas for architecture

LanceImageLAS VEGAS – For third-generation Nevadans, there is one very important question: north or south? Thankfully, although Lance Kirk grew up in Reno, he chose the south when he came to UNLV to pursue architecture. In January, after many hours of study and exams, Kirk was sworn in to receive his architecture license.

Kirk isn’t an entirely new face to local architecture firm, LGA, as he was an employee from 1995 to 2011. He recently returned, jumping back in exactly where he was needed.

Although his family is largely from Northern Nevada, he has spent time all over the state, finding Southern Nevada the perfect pallet for architectural creation.

“There’s optimism here,” he said. “Because Las Vegas is a relatively young city, there are a lot of possibilities. We can leave our legacy a bit more. There’s a lot of potential here in the valley.”

Over the years, Kirk has been involved with projects at the Springs Preserve and St. Jude’s Ranch Crossings, a 15-unit housing development for homeless adults ages 18 to 25. Each project at LGA is created by a team that sees the client through from proposal to completion, a style Kirk enjoys. It was also a style that worked for a project like St. Jude’s Ranch Crossings.

“That was a great process. I think that style is more intuitive to what architects do,” Kirk said. “We tend to work more in a service-oriented way, so it keeps us hands-on with the client. I prefer that because it’s one team for one project for one client.”

A resident of the historical Huntridge Neighborhood for more than 15 years, Kirk has been involved with the revitalization effort of the Huntridge Theatre, 1208 E. Charleston Blvd., which was built in 1944 as part of the surrounding housing development. The efforts are just one step in a series Kirk said he would like the neighborhood to take toward becoming a more walkable, mixed-use, neighborhood, similar to the Arts District nearby.

“In most neighborhoods in Las Vegas, you have to get in your car and drive to a strip mall to shop, eat, socialize, etc. We need to get cafés and bookstores in the neighborhood on a totally different scale,” he said. “If they revitalize the theater, it can benefit all the neighbors.”

When he’s not working, he enjoys spending time with his children Kobe, 10, and Mollie, 4; music; and someday finding a Volkswagen Microbus to renovate into an electric vehicle.

Established in 1986, LGA is a cross-disciplinary, client-centered consulting firm that brings together the disciplines of architecture, sociology and sustainability using a collaborative, participatory and community-based process. Best known for its work on the LEED-certified Springs Preserve master plan and one of only a handful of Platinum LEED-certified buildings in the world, the Desert Living Center at the Springs Preserve, LGA has been a longtime advocate of green design and green living.

For more information on LGA, call 702-263-7111 or visit