Fort Lauderdale Architects | Luxury Homes | RNA

Rex Nichols Architects is an award-winning Fort Lauderdale architecture firm for luxury homes focuses on contemporary architecture, modern homes, minimalist architecture, green building and sustainable design. Working with developers in Fort Lauderdale RNA has received 11 AIA awards and has been included in the top Fort Lauderdale architects list.



Rex Nichols Architects emerged 30 years ago, focused primarily upon designing and building luxury homes and mid-rise for owners and developers in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Palm Beach and the surrounding region that have received eleven national American Institute of Architects AIA awards. Over time, we have evolved into a real estate development company, RNA Development Group, an Architect as Developer business model. Through this ongoing process, we have evolved into a company focused on creating opportunities for investment in potential high-end income properties set in a vibrant, and rapidly expanding residential market.


Our main focus lies in creating value for buyers beyond the scope of the standard relationship between designer and development project. This is accomplished through working with clients to incorporate a number of innovative design factors into the project, taking into account the latest trends, styles, architectural languages and building technology to create our interpretation of contemporary architecture while implementing the sustainable design. We have worked with owners and developers to create alluring and innovative luxury residential properties. Over time, we have expanded our business model as architectural designers, builders and developers to encompass developing properties with investors' groups, in addition to working with individual residential buyers/owners.


Southern Florida provides ideal demographic and topographic opportunities for the construction and development of high-end residential properties now, and for years into the future. Given these factors, the opportunity for growth and success in the field of property design and development for this region is eminently achievable. Our development proposals include detailed financial pro formas for each of our projects, so as to ensure optimal returns on investment for the savvy investor. Flexibility regarding design and material details are optional within the parameters of every design we create, making us a proactive partner maximizing investment opportunities for our clients while creating optimal esthetic results for all projects we undertake.






REX NICHOLS, AIA / Principal


Rex Nichols has over three decades of experience designing award-winning projects. He has earned numerous national awards from renowned organizations such as the American Institute of Architects and the American Society of Interior Designers and his work has appeared in national and international publications. As principal of the firm, he manages the design, the construction documents and the administration of the construction agreement. He received his professional degree in architecture from the University of Florida College of Architecture and Fine Arts and continued his studies at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. He received the NCARB and Florida Registration in 1977 and in the State of Maine in 1984. Rex Nichols is currently a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).


ALEX PENNA / Business Partner, Design Leader for Contemporary Architecture



Alex has changed the portfolio direction of RNA to contemporary architecture, which has led the firm to be included in the top 50 residential architects in the U.S. since 2015.  He has contributed sustainable design initiatives while working on projects across the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. Alex has expertise in energy-efficiency design and has provided sustainable design leadership, including solar and daylight, for well-known architectural firms such as Foster+Partners, Rafael Viñoly, Kohn Pedersen Fox, OMA and Richard Rogers. He earned a Master's Degree in Sustainable Architecture from Bologna University, Italy. He achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) accreditations in the U.S., and A.S. degree in HVAC. Alex considers that being an architect is not just a matter of designing a building with an appealing aesthetic but also providing a technically efficient design, ultimately leading to cutting-edge design.

GARY KITTREDGE / Development Manager


Gary, a native of Boston, Massachusetts, has achieved a distinguished career in STEM Publishing. He is a graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology, where he studied Architectural Photography and Business Administration and has earned a trusted reputation for his business acumen and operational leadership skills. A world traveler with a camera always at his side, he is passionate about documenting people and places, with an eye toward real estate development opportunities.

RUSSELL SHAFER / Development Manager


Russ brings over thirty years of corporate sales with strategies for development and revenue-generating operations. His firm earned international acclaim in the spa and hospitality garment industry as leaders in manufacturing and design with affiliate partners such as Four Seasons, Disney, and Canyon Ranch at Sea. With his previous experience centered on luxury car marques such as Jaguar, Range Rover, and BMW, Russ has a winner's mindset with excellent communication skills and always delivers a polished professional demeanor. He is delighted to offer his talents to launching an ultra-contemporary product that he believes is the wave of the future. He plays an active role in the analysis of sales data and planning RNA's sales marketing strategies and is an ambassador to quality service. Russ is a proud steward of modern architectural design and preservation.



A M E R I CA   I N S T I T U T E   O F   A R C H I T E C TS ( A I A )

Awards in Excellence for Historic Preservation:
Mizner Ministration Building
Awards for Excellence in Architecture:
Leonard Abramson Residence /Admirals Cove
Katz Residence
Renovation of Orlando Residence
The Bootery Retail Store
Apostrophe Retail Store
Tilghman Gallery
Office Suite for Rex Nichols Architects
Cambridge Park & Multifamily Housing Project

A M E R I CA N   S O C I E T Y   O F   I N T E R I O R   D E S I G N E R S ( A S I D )
Interior Design Project Award:
Tilghman Gallery
The Bootery Retail Store
Apostrophe Retail Store
Signet Award:
Office Suite for Rex Nichols Architects
The Design of the Dance Center of London

B U I L D I N G   A S S O C I AT I O N   O F   S O U T H   F LO R I DA
Platinum Award:
The Brown Residence
The Stuart Residence

S . M .   H E X T E R   A W A R D
Outstanding Interior of the Year:
Tilghman Gallery

I N T E R I O R   D E S I G N   G U I L D ( I D G )
4 time winner of the Designer of the Year award.


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