Inside Never Before Seen Desert Modern Architecture in Palm Springs, California

Just in time for Modernism Week—a celebration of Desert Modern architecture in Palm Springs that runs through February 21—Gibbs Smith has released two books dedicated to the area’s distinctive homes. William Krisel’s Palm Springscelebrates the architect’s iconic midcentury-modern homes in Southern California, many of which were mass-produced.Unseen Midcentury Desert Modern looks beyond the Coachella Valley staples—the Frank Sinatra home, Bing Crosby’s estate, Richard Neutra’s Kaufmann House—and places a focus on never-before-seen Desert Modern gems. The selection ranges from out-there 20th-century houses of worship to groovy private homes in gated neighborhoods that are not accessible to the public.

William Krisel was a pioneer of tract housing, where homes of a similar design are built side by side on individual lots. Here is an early example of the concept with a flat roof, built in 1956.

palm-springs-modernism-07.jpgThe gable roofline of this home at Canyon View Estates echoes the surrounding mountains.

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The gable roofline of this home at Canyon View Estates echoes the surrounding mountains.

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The Menrad Residence in Twin Palms has equally modernist landscaping.

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A new version of Krisel’s famous butterfly roof house was built in 2009.

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When the Fontenell, built by B. Cody in 1958, was purchased by cosmetics magnate Max Factor in 1960, the seven-unit apartment complex was transformed into a sprawling family retreat.

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The Annenberg Center for Health Sciences, by architecture firm Williams, Clark and Williams, features a skylit rotunda that houses a 485-seat theater and several classrooms.

palm-springs-modernism-03.jpgLa Casa di Ucello Bianca—a post-and-beam home custom built in 1956—was recently restored by its owners.

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The entrance of Stan Sackley’s 25 Palms, built in 1963, is distinguished by a pair of peacock-blue doors.
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The Morrison-Strassner Residence, in Thunderbird Heights, is composed of one main circular structure and other circular configurations. The interior is defined by stark white structural beams that cast striking shadows.
Read more at AD

 

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