Mandalay, Monument to the Sea: A Groundbreaking Residence by R.A. Shaw Designs

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Ron Shaw of R.A. Shaw Designs has mastered the art of creating indoor-outdoor homes, harnessing the beauty of the coast’s azure waters as his foremost inspiration when designing luxurious residential spaces. Shaw’s lengthy career as an architect has drawn him to many special projects, but Mandalay may just be his most spectacular creation yet.

What drew you to luxury residential real estate initially?
I started in the commercial sector. Designing shopping malls and industrial spaces isn’t subjective… its all about function. Single-family residential spaces combine form and function in a very subjective way, and I like designing things that are geometrically stimulating.

How did you and your client, Larry Costa, collaborate on Mandalay?
It was probably one of my most unusual projects. Larry only offered very basic parameters. Normally people give you some direction for architectural style, but he gave me nothing! It was a great challenge.

Was he involved with the design process?
I presented him with the large-format freehand drawings of my design. When I finished, he pushed back from the table and said, “Well Ron, this is so not me, but I love it!” This is by far his favorite home. He’s like a kid with a new toy… he just thinks it’s the greatest thing on earth.

Why did you choose to feature water so prominently in the home? 
Mandalay sits about 40 feet from the sea, as we used a preexisting foundation made before new regulations. The pool’s lighting system uses 38 adjustable LED lights to really highlight the architectural features of the outdoor space. There’s cascading water everywhere, and it’s very calming as well as aesthetically pleasing. Using water as a central focal point also really connects the space with the Long Bay, almost making it seem like the water feature is one with the natural landscape.

What is the most interesting feature in the home?
It was the first time we used recycled glass countertops with under-lit LED panels. That was particularly unusual, so that stands out. The location of the fire pit lounge by the pool is also amazing for entertaining, and everyone naturally congregates to that area as a social space.

Shaw may have created this masterpiece to be one of his most incredible projects, but we’re excited to see what he comes up with next. To learn more, visit his website at

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