“Today, people think of a large box looking like a trailer when you say ‘pre -fab home,'” said David McAdam of Blue Sky Building Systems. “But pre-fabricated steel homes really started with Don Wexler in 1961 when he built six or seven steel houses in Palm Springs. The pre-fabricated steel pieces were brought in and assembled on site.” Continue reading “Steel Pre-Fab Homes Make Resurgence in Palm Springs”
A fourth generation Coachella Valley resident, architect Lance O’Donnell understands the California desert from places too deep in his soul to excavate.
From childhood memories of wide open vistas, pristine blue skies against rugged mountains, days flooded with sunshine, and soft turquoise sunsets, Lance has absorbed more than the physical essence of desert living.
He also lived among and absorbed the inspired and innovative architecture created over the last half century by some of the world’s most gifted and notable architects: Richard Neutra, Albert Frey, E. Stewart Williams, William Cody, and Don Wexler, with whom O’Donnell began an almost decade long collaboration in 2002. Continue reading “Architect Lance O’Donnell Brings Modernism Into 21st Century”
When Ralph W. Haverkate, a real estate broker specializing in Mid Century Modern homes, came across an abandoned but classic Mid-Century Modern home in south Palm Desert that was facing a short sale, he immediately called his wife Bettina Waldraff to come take a look.
“He wanted me to see the inside of the house with the true mid-century modern beam ceiling and big back yard with pool which our two Entlebucher Swiss Mountain dogs would love,” she said. “We both saw right away the potential of this property.”
The couple called young up-and-coming architect Lance O’Donnell of O2 Architecture in Palm Springs, a protégé architect working with Donald Wexler. They previewed several homes with O’Donnell to get his perspective and input. O’Donnell agreed that south Palm Desert house was a great location, within walking distance to El Paseo, and had “great bones and potential.” O’Donnell suggested leaving the existing ceiling and adding on a master suite to increase the house from approximately 1,900 to 2,500 square feet.
Their offer finally accepted, the Haverkates sealed the deal in November, 2009. O’Donnell began his design that maintained the house’s original architecture but meticulously reinvented its interior. Rarely is a house able to combine modern and vintage accents into a living work of art.
“Mid-April of last year, our project was underway,” said Bettina. “Moving along, the whole house was gutted down to the studs and just the old concrete floors and wood beam ceilings were left.”The remodel, executed by Barton Construction Palm Springs, kept the original wood post and beam construction and ceiling. New air conditioning ducts and copper plumbing were installed under the original slab. The new roof and walls were fully insulated and the concrete floors throughout were restored and polished.
The new master suite bedroom/bathroom addition was designed with its roof tilted in the opposite direction of the existing roof line of the house to give it the mid-century modern “Butterfly Roof” look.
The kitchen was designed to be a focal point in the living space. It features CAESARSTONE kitchen counter tops, white high gloss Wenge wood veneer cabinets and top-of-the-line MIELE dishwasher, oven, steamer, warming drawer, and built in espresso machine, with an energy efficient induction glass cook top and stainless steel hood. A SUBZERO refrigerator and 150 bottle SUBZERO wine fridge complete the kitchen appliances. “A long 10 feet dining table was a must since I like to cook and entertain friends and clients of Ralph’s,” said Bettina. “And a handmade crystal chandelier rounds up the dining area giving it a glamorous feel.” Continue reading “South Palm Desert Mid-Century Modern Home Expanded, Transformed Into 21st Century Energy Efficient Classic”