Bassenian Lagoni Provides Design With a Vision

By designing a rock solid base for their business, Bassenian Lagoni has excelled in the US and international arenas, being known for innovative design and wonderful customer service

By Brianna Fries

How does an architecture and design firm with projects around the world ensure that they deliver well-designed and functional residential products that appeal to multiple buyer profiles? They design a company that is built around a firm, foundational vision. Our Architect of the Year, Bassenian Lagoni, does just this.

Bassenian Lagoni is a residential architecture and design firm that seeks to provide a lasting contribution in everything they help create. They do this by focusing on providing innovative design and exceptional customer service with potential homebuyers in mind.

When designing the Civita Recreational Center, Bassenian Lagoni used a radial pattern to integrate the structure into its surroundings.

“The bedrock of our corporate culture is a commitment to innovative design coupled with uncompromising customer service. We believe in fostering long-term relationships with our clients and empowering our team to succeed in all circumstances,” explains President of Bassenian Lagoni Jeffrey LaFetra, AIA. “Our company goals are to lead in the field of residential design while maintaining a sustainable business model. For our end-users, the homebuyers, we strive to provide the best design solution possible for each home we design.”

Ultimately, Bassenian Lagoni maintains a focus on their clients, who are an integral part of the firm’s problem-solving process. “Through collaboration, we arrive at responsive solutions that benefit the end user,” LaFetra adds. “We never lose sight of the user.”

Residential Projects That Reflect A Company’s Vision

Bassenian Lagoni has created multiple different residential products, from single-family, to multifamily, to mixed-use and more. Their favorites of the last year’s projects have evolved from those that allowed them to help their clients carve a new niche in the homebuilding market and stand out.

 The firm utilized floor-to-ceiling and wall-to-wall glass in the design of Alara at Altair by Toll Brothers.

“With each project, Bassenian Lagoni incorporates exterior elements with a contemporary aesthetic and offers an exploration in layering, materials, color and texture,” details Dave Kosco, AIA, Director of Design for Bassenian Lagoni.

A great example of the firm’s commitment to helping clients find a new market niche can be found in their work with Van Daele Homes. Through the creation of The Row at Terra Vista, a three-story townhome community in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, the firm helped the builder achieve a unique market position. The design used for The Row completely broke the mold for conventional three-story townhomes and included noteworthy elements such as corner glass to brighten interiors and enhance the homes’ modern aesthetic, and a roof deck that encourages indoor/outdoor living. Of course, all of these details also helped to incorporate a view of the stunning San Gabriel Mountains.

Another favorite project from the past year is The New Home Company’s Cobalt development in Rancho Mission Viejo. Cobalt brings to market duplexes with small square footage that deliver a single-family detached living experience. With open floor plans and thoughtful layouts, which include highly marketable components like kitchen islands and private rear yards, these homes once again showcase Bassenian Lagoni’s dedication to providing products that have the end-user in mind.

 Thoughtful floor plans, large kitchen islands and modern aesthetics are used in several Bassenian projects.

Other noteworthy projects from 2018 that the firm has marked among their favorites include Alara at Altair by Toll Brothers, Trilogy at Monarch Dunes by Shea Homes, Pardee Homes’ 55+ community, Altis, and even the Civita Recreation Center by Sudberry Properties.

Building Creative Solutions

Bassenian Lagoni brings a unique vision and aesthetic sense to the design, theming and texturing of each of their projects, which benefits both client and end-user alike.

In the words of LaFetra, “Combining architectural innovation and creative land planning, we work with our clients to design communities, neighborhoods, and homes that outperform the market by delivering homes that offer buyers more livability and better functionality in the floor plans, no matter the footprint.”

Part of how the company is able to do this is through their understanding that good design is a universal truth. They seek to provide innovative design solutions that are functional, marketable and desirable not just in the United States, but around the globe as well.

The company’s focus on design is apparent through elegant exteriors.

“By embracing the idea that ‘anything is possible,’ we have the creativity to design projects that will be in demand and successful for all involved, in any country or culture,” Kosco adds. “The trend that translates between all cultures is that ‘good design’ will always be well accepted and valued.”

This view of architecture and design has helped Bassenian Lagoni succeed internationally. It is also reflected in the fact that, along with their residential projects, they have made significant contributions to the hospitality, recreation, planning, and retail disciplines in other countries.

Reviewing Successes in 2018

Bassenian Lagoni as a whole plans for and achieves growth year over year while simultaneously creating diversity in their architectural practice. The greatest challenge for them is finding the best balance of project types and their cycle times, and translating those details into staffing solutions that do not compromise the company’s focus on design and customer service. Thankfully, they have discovered that they can utilize flexibility and a willingness to take on new challenges to face these concerns head on.

 At Alara at Altair and other projects, Bassenian Lagoni showcases its commitment to innovative design and exceptional customer care.

One example of this is their commitment to helping homeowners who lost their homes in the Santa Rosa fire in 2017, as detailed by LaFetra: “Twenty years ago, our firm designed many of the communities that were destroyed by the fire, and we received many inquiries for help from the residents. Within one week, we were able to provide the residents and builders with a Bassenian Lagoni architect in an office in Santa Rosa. We have maintained this commitment to be there full time every week for the last 12 months, talking with homeowners and working closely with many of the builders to help them get the information and updated plans needed for rebuilding as quickly as possible. We are happy to have been able to significantly contribute to the success of the fire recovery efforts.”

Bassenian Lagoni’s Future in 2019

The upcoming year will be an exciting time for Bassenian Lagoni as namesake partners Aram Bassenian, AIA, and Carl Lagoni, AIA, transition ownership to Kosco and LaFetra, who boast more than 55 years of combined employment and have a clear understanding of the firm’s core values.

 2019 brings a transition in ownership from Aram Bassenian, AIA, and Carl Lagoni, AIA, to Dave Kosco, AIA, and Jeffrey LaFetra, AIA.

Future projects will continue to provide innovative design with an emphasis on attainability. This includes projects such as the Avalon Bay Monrovia Apartments community, which will have an affordable component and will include a Transitional Spanish expression. The community will also use nature as an ornament with the San Gabriel Mountains as its backdrop and the Southern California blue sky as its frame.

Internally, the firm will continue to diversify their practice with an emphasis on long-term growth, while maintaining focus on their bedrock principles of innovative design, and uncompromising client service.

Brianna Fries is an Assistant Editor for Builder and Developer Magazine. She can be reached at

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