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 - RNA - is on a mission to express a new vision for contemporary design with its sculptural geometric forms and playful layouts that continually provoke, challenge, and inspire.
At RNA, we know from experience that great architecture comes from working with great clients. For our clients, it’s an invitation to participate in the contemporary art movement, an elemental approach combining art, architecture, design, interior design and nature.
RNA’s design process always starts by identifying the key criteria of a project: What is the biggest challenge; how to combine design elements to take the best advantage of the setting, exterior, and interior architectural needs; how to achieve maximum return on investment.
We design with the philosophy that information-driven design, sustainable technologies, environmentally responsible materials, and contemporary style are key elements of the design process. Equally important, our goal is to achieve a design that visually communicates the public perception of the building in a unique and creative way.
For each project, we select consultants and contractors to create a unified team that maintains the integrity of the architect + client's vision and delivers a compelling and unique contemporary design. One that serves as a comforting and enlightened work of contemporary art, an elegant structure that speaks of light and air, asymmetry and reflection, texture and form; a visual experience that seeks to uplift and inspire, designed by an architect with a strong philosophic and artistic point of view.
We purposely keep our team small to maintain direct communication with our clients. With the right team, we can adapt to the unique requirements of any project, from luxury single-family to medium and high-density residential and mixed-use buildings. We believe this approach of creating a compact, collaborative team of professionals drives loyalty, and loyalty drives success.
We don’t staff administrative positions; we don’t hire junior or even mid-level people. There are no layers between us, as principals, and our clients.
RNA believes the best approach to achieving our mission of Architecture as Contemporary Art, is to become Developers to maintain the vision that has been initiated by the client and the architect.
We built the RNA “Architect as Developer” business model to redefine the role of the traditional architect.
As a Developer, the architect commands a greater sense of control, faster decision-making, with fewer levels of approval, enabling an inherently more efficient process. 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 aesthetic results for all projects we undertake.
Like the conductor of a finely-tuned orchestra, Team RNA Developers manages the collective performance of individual artisans such as interior designers, landscape architects, and lighting designers to achieve a brilliantly orchestrated result true to the architect’s vision.
We understand the essence of our brand and what it takes to be successful both creatively and financially.
RNA’s awards for architectural design include 11 American Institute of Architects awards. RNA has been recognized for five years running as one of the Top 50 Coastal Architects in the United Stated by the preeminent Ocean Home Magazine, with projects in South Florida, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and the Bahamas.
Edited by Darryl Macdonald, former Palm Springs film festival executive director.
SUMMARY OF CV AND KEY STAFF
REX NICHOLS, AIA / Principal of RNA
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 / M.Arch, LEED AP, NCARB
Principal of TEAM RNA DEVELOPERS, and Design Leader for Contemporary Architecture of RNA
As a Principal of TEAM RNA DEVELOPERS, 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. Alex worked in London for world-renowned architectural firms including Foster+Partners, OMA (Office for Metropolitan Architecture), Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, and Rafael Viñoly architects. He has contributed sustainable design initiatives while working on projects across the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. He has expertise in energy-efficiency design and has provided sustainable design leadership, including solar and daylight. He earned a Master's Degree in Sustainable Architecture from Bologna University, Italy. Alex achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) accreditations in the U.S., and an 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 architecture.
RUSSELL SHAFER / Principal of TEAM RNA DEVELOPERS
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.