Le Palais Royal
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Have you ever heard of a building so magnificent, it can make you feel as though you’ve traveled back in time, just by looking at it?! Allow me to introduce you to: Le Palais Royal – An absolute unprecedented jewel in Miami architecture! Also known as Playa Vista Isle, Le Palais Royal is the most incredibly notable project of the Italian-French designer, entrepreneur and developer, Joseph Leone. Leone arrived in Miami, Florida in 1991. This was 13 years before he met the billionaire Robert W. Pereira; who encouraged Leone to get involved with private assets. From here, he would change his career by producing one of the biggest and most famous projects of his life, “Le Palais Royal”. Le Palais Royal is a Versailles-inspired masterpiece, complete with 22k gold details, an IMAX theater, and more! Let’s explore this show-stopper a little further, and dive into the jaw-dropping details!
Acquisition of LandBillionaire Robert W. Pereira II, a building magnate and president of The Middlesex Corp, bought a property in 2004. It was described as a beachfront mansion; located in Hillsboro Beach, Broward County. Subsequently, he would buy another additional property adjoining the main land into one grand property; demolishing the previously standing buildings. Following this, Leone, inspired by the European design of the French Palace Versailles, developed “Le Palais Royal” in 2007. The design, construction, and decoration of this magnificent mansion would end up costing over $85 million!
Millionaire’s MileIt’s only fitting that they would locate such a grand project on a piece of property known as, Millionaires Mile! The construction of this 18,440 m2 of land, stands on a property of more than five acres and 465 feet of waterfront, and even has its own naval outlet to the Atlantic Ocean! The exact address of this giant showstopper is located at 935 Hillsboro Beach, South Florida. Just in case you’re in the area and want to drool at its magnificence any time soon!
Project Development & Work TeamThe owners hired an incredibly talented team to develop this outstanding project. Among them: Denio Madera, who was the architect in charge of the project’s interior design. His architecture studio took into account even the smallest details, including construction techniques and infrastructure. Furthermore, the prime contractor on the project was Coastal Construction of South Florida, while the installer was Rondal Kendall Masonry, Inc., both based in Miami. Project manager, Joseph Leone, was a designer who took on the challenge from the beginning, and personally supervised everything- from design, and excavations to the finishing touches of the gold leaf. Image by Business Insider
Creating a MasterpieceThe large size of the work, and the exquisiteness with which it was built, meant that the project would take several years to complete. Understandably, such greatness and attention to detail takes time! The entire team worked intensively for seven years. The vision of the project was to create something completely different and unique than anything previously built in the United States. The architects and designers wanted to create a true work of art- elegant with exclusive details and an incomparable finish. Because of this, they couldn’t overlook even the smallest detail. After all, having Versailles as your inspiration is quite the tall order to fill.
Two-Phase ProjectThey divided the project into two phases. The first stage of the project focused on the structural portion of the main building. The team knew that they could not fail in the slightest calculation, while being just as precise with the choice of material. The aim was to achieve a structure with exquisite luxury, that would last as long as European castles. The challenge was high, but the builders were up for it! Overall, the mansion was built on 350 150-foot underground piles. The entire house and roofs were made entirely of poured concrete. Interior walls were lined with plaster moldings simulating period designs. The mansion was completely soundproof, including walls, floors and ceilings. According to Denio Madera, this construction is robust and has the ability to withstand any storm. They did not estimate an expense budget at either stage. This was to help achieve the best design, a safe structure, and the best workmanship. Talk about high quality standards and perfectionism!
Eastern Engineering Group – Reporting For Duty!Our own talented engineers at Eastern Engineering Group were excited to be involved in such an exquisite project that demanded complete perfection. At Le Palais Royal, we were hired to engineer the jewel in the crown so to speak: The majestic staircase of the mansion! Our team carried out the entire structural portion of the ladder, together with our client G. Metal Corp. Later, we would carry out the construction of the staircase’s railings, but this time with Bachiller Iron. The experience was incredible and unique! The end result: the breathtaking staircase is the center of attention of the entire work! One more time, let’s ring the glasses! We were glad to have a part in such an extravagant project.
Phase 2: Land ExpansionEvery time the project progressed, new ideas arose to improve it. Thus, after the construction of the main building, the owner applied for a loan to buy an adjacent piece of land. The goal was to expand the space for entertaining. (Can you IMAGINE the party potential?! I’m thinking straight Gatsby vibes!) Therefore, the second stage of work would begin. They built two guest houses. Each guest house was around 280 square meters – and between them: a swimming pool! Below this area, was now an entertainment complex! In total, this last phase cost over $100 million, and took two years to complete.
Decoration & FinishesThroughout the interior of the mansion, the 22-karat gold leaf gilding stands out in a handful of locations; column capitals, the two entrance doors to the house, the great railing of the stairs, the crown moldings, as well as in pieces of the bathrooms, and even in the kitchen furniture. Pereira paid more than $ 10 million for all the gold on this palatial estate! But don’t worry; the gold detail and extra add-in guest-house’s swimming pool aren’t the only unique features of this unique palace. Let us take a little walk through this dream-home.
Image by Mansion Global
Let’s Tour this Beauty!The residence from its entrance exudes pure majestic elegance. Past the gold-plated gates at the entrance, is a path that surrounds a fountain. Next, this leads you straight to the grand front door. The gate is 12 feet tall and has two leaves, lined with gold leaf of course! On both sides, there are mosaics with paintings of the 4 seasons of the year. Passing the front door, you reach the great hall. Here, your eyes are instantly directed to the stunning staircase, lined with imported marble from South Africa. You know, the one created by our own incredible team of professionals! 😉 To continue, beyond the lobby is a large seating area with giant glass windows. These shrink-wrap windows extend from floor to ceiling. Of course, offering nothing but the best views.
Common AreasThe common areas in Le Palais Royal include the great room, family room, formal dining room, and kitchen. All of which you can imagine, are gorgeous with thought-out detail and no expense spared. The main living room opens to one of the many dining tables included in the mansion. Next, we enter a mahogany clad family room that includes a saltwater aquarium with natural corals! This already extraordinary aquarium borders an entire huge 3d television! I mean, why not right?! The home’s formal dining room seats 16 comfortably, with its main attraction being the vaulted ceiling that features a majestic fresco with a heavenly theme. Additionally, included on this level is the immense kitchen, furnished with mahogany cabinets and adorned with gold leaf.
ALL the Bells and Whistles…and an IMAX!On the lower level, the house features the world’s first residential IMAX · D cinema with capacity for 18 guests!! You read that right! There is an IMAX – IN the house!!! Mind: officially blown. In case that wasn’t impressive enough, also located on this floor is a cellar comprised of 3000 bottles of wines, and fittingly protected by biometric security. This place gives Netflix-and-chill, a WHOLE new level of meaning! Also included in this one-of-a-kind dream-home, comes thirteen water features, including six waterfalls, and a 4,500-square-foot infinity-edge heated pool that peacefully blends in with the stunning ocean views. It’s okay. Once you come back from your daydream, there’s still more to see!
The Upper Level: A Fairytale Come True!Located next to the staircase on the upper level, is an empire-style library. Following this Beauty-and-the-Beast dream-come-true are the main bedrooms. The south-wing of the floor, is completely destined for the master suite. It even has a bridge that connects the suite with the outdoor pool AND includes a slide! I wasn’t kidding – no expense spared! On the side opposite this, are the additional rooms. The entire floor includes several master baths with a number of vanities. Each bathroom has a round-shaped whirlpool bathtub, and fittingly incredible views. The showers all have seats, and rainfall showerheads to make even bathing a luxurious experience. In total, the house has 22 bathrooms and 11 bedrooms, with this level also including a workspace. It’s fair to say that each one holds up a level of excellence and beauty, any builder would be proud of. And of course, there’s plenty of gold detailing throughout.
The Exterior of Le Palais RoyalThroughout the exterior, a great variety of waterfalls with different arrangements adorn the land. The mansion has spectacular landscaping. In addition, its infinity pool measures about 420 square-meters, and even includes a bar inside. A few meters from the pool, is a Green, to practice golf. Truly a mansion built to entertain and enjoy! The underground heated garage has capacity for 20 cars. Other outdoor attractions are a mini court and two piers on the Intracoastal Waterway. Once you arrive at the palace, why would you ever want to leave?! This place truly has it all, and then some!
Change of Plans: Selling the Most Expensive House in the U.S.All this wonder built, had a long process of design, development and construction. The idea was for its owner to enjoy his perfect castle, but things didn’t go as originally planned. The mansion’s owner now wanted to sell the masterpiece, for he didn’t have the time to spend at the house to truly enjoy it. Le Palais Royal was listed twice, and eventually sold at auction. The mansion first hit the market in September 2014 for a value of US $ 139 million. This figure made it the most expensive house for sale in the United States! Subsequently, a year later they removed it from the market until they completed the work on the new land. Later on, when they listed the second time, it included two new guest spaces, another pool and an underground entertainment complex. Raising its already incredible price even higher, to $159 million! But would these add-ons pay off? Let’s find out!
Taking the Mansion to AuctionUnder the name Playa Vista Isle, the mansion finally managed to be sold at auction in 2018. The Miami Herald (miamidiario.com in their digital versions) published the news on October 2 and 4, 2018, that the Playa Vista Isle Mansion, valued at $ 159 million, would be auctioned online. However, the final results weren’t what the original owner initially had in mind.
An Incredible Deal for an Award-Winning MansionIn the end, the jewel of Pereira ended up being acquired at auction for extremely less than its initial value or asking price. Teavana co-founder Andrew Mack paid $42.5 million for the gorgeous ornate waterfront South Florida estate. Congratulations, Mr. Mack! You sir got an incredible deal! Not to mention, a jaw-dropping mansion. Forbes.com mentions how the auction price wasn’t disclosed until 30 days after the paperwork was complete, but it was noted as the highest price ever achieved for a U.S. home at auction, and the highest selling price on record in its location of Broward County! According to Realtor.com’s listing information, Playa Vista Isle was awarded the World’s Best Property, Best Residential Property-Florida, and Architecture Single Residence-Florida! So basically, the EGOT of mansions! Can you imagine living in this award-winning, Versailles-inspired dream-mansion?!
From “Le Palais Royal” to “Playa Vista Isle”Although it no longer bears the name that best suits it, the neoclassical Playa Vista Isle mansion, is still an unpublished work of architecture in Florida. Therefore, we will remember “Le Palais Royal” as a majestic and elegant mansion that they built with the goal of being the first “palace” on American soil. As you can see, there are times some seeds don’t harvest their expected profits. In this case, the team of engineering and architecture professionals who participated still gained from the experience. They can be happy with their work and proud of their magnificent product! The result of the search for perfection in every detail, makes this house unique and very difficult to replicate. All in all, it is a resounding luxury to have on our land, a structure as magnificent as the old “Le Palais Royal”, today “Playa Vista Isle”. © 2022 This article was written and published by Eastern Engineering Group. All rights reserved.
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