Good Architecture markets itself when it gets seen, and the more it is seen, the more marketing it achieves. The trick is in getting it seen, and that means making it visible to the most people in the most ways.
Located next to Tamarisk Country Club you will find a well-desired community, Tamarisk Rancho, which is divided into two separate parts featuring each 16 Mid-Century Modern homes. The homes are built along grassy green belts with a 45 foot long pool in the center inviting for a swim or just to relax while admiring the beautiful views to many date palms and fruit trees giving it a feel of living in an oasis. Tamarisk Rancho hosted many parties in the 50th attended by Barbara Sinatra, Groucho Marx and many other stars from Hollywood and was advertised back then as being one of the greatest places in the Palm Springs area. Continue reading “Tamarisk Rancho in Rancho Mirage has Significant Mid-Century Modern Architecture”
Renowned architect, William Krisel, has designed tens of thousands of homes throughout his long and extensive career. He was a visionary, and his designs represented the defined and spatial sensibility of the geometric style of the modernist design.
William Krisel was born in Shanghai, China in 1924 where his father was a career diplomat. He learned Mandarin and the local Shanghai dialect as a young boy. When the Japanese invaded China in 1937, his family moved to Beverly Hills. He enlisted in the Army at the beginning of World War II. Because of his knowledge of Chinese he became one of General Joseph Sidwell’s Chinese interpreters. He returned home after the war, and completed his studies at the University of Southern California, where he received his architectural training. He graduated in 1949 and earned his license in 1950. Continue reading “William Krisel, Mid Century Modern Architect, 1924-2017”
Sandpiper Condominium complex has just become one of Palm Desert’s most significant architectural residential communities. This past spring, Palm Desert City Council unanimously voted Sandpiper Condominium Circles 11 and 12 – built in 1965 by the renowned architects Palmer & Krisel — as an Historic District.
Palm Springs Preservation Foundation member Jim Harlan authored the nomination with the enthusiastic support of Sandpiper homeowners Barbara and Bernie Cain and Jim West. The process began last December and was successfully given approval this year.
Sandpiper was conceived as a low-density community and designed for maximum privacy and mountain views with pools, spas, a putting green and wide green belts amid lush landscaping. Located at the west end of now famous El Paseo, today, it is within walking distance to some of the desert’s most trendy restaurants, galleries, shops, and malls.
While all of the buildings within the Sandpiper complex are designed in the modernistic style, they were built over time — from 1958 to 1969 – by different builders so that various circles have different characteristics. But Circles 11 and 12, consisting of 16 buildings housing 32 units, were determined to “represent the most intact examples of modernist architecture,” according to the Palm Spring Preservation Foundation.
Sandpiper’s architectural features includes a flat roof, expansive use of glass, clerestory windows, and novel uses of then-new concrete screen block and Shadowall, multi-faceted concrete masonry.
In his report, Harlan notes that the complex Circles 11 and 12 are excellent examples of architecture built during the midcentury period with modern methods of construction. In addition, they are the work of master architects, Palmer & Krisel.
“The architects’ successful site planning, landscape and architectural design create not only a unique but an early example of a multi-unit residential condominium project,” said Harlan in his report.
The two sections are a “singularly intact example of the significant modernist architecture for which the Coachella Valley is internationally known.”
Even when it was built, The Sandpiper complex was immediately recognized by the architectural community as an extraordinary effort that combined a sense of proportion, massing, refinement and use of modern materials and technology – a stylistic marker of the modernist movement.
Palmer & Krisel’s building design and site plan created a “built-environment” that attempted to combine the best of city and rural life in a utopian environment.
At the time, Sandpiper was advertised as “a new concept in carefree desert living” where “each Sandpiper apartment is cleverly arranged around a pool and garden area amid an oasis of tropical landscaping.”
Sandpiper unapologetically catered to the aspiring upper middle class, so that the feeling of the buildings had to exude urbanity but in a more informal resort setting. Homeowners were promised a “garden apartment with maid, linen and other resort hotel services as your fingertips!”
The late 1950s were a sophisticated, optimistic and open time, a feeling still expressed by Sandpiper Circles 11 and 12’s design. The buildings and site still retain a high degree of integrity and continues its association with the modernism movement that has made a significant contribution to the community.
“Palm Springs should be very proud that it is known as the capital of the world for Mid Century Modern architecture,” said William Krisel, one of Palm Springs’ foremost MCM architects who designed Canyon View Estates for developer Roy Fey in 1962.
Krisel was interviewed for a Palm Springs Life story this month by Lawrence Karol. The feature focuses on two Canyon View Estates homes that have been refurbished by a younger generation of modernists.
This year, as Palm Springs celebrates its 75th anniversary, its prestige as an architectural center is clearly part of the celebration. Krisel said that Palm Springs, “is the one city in America that really protects that design, advocated that design, and is proud of that design.”
The Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, one of the foremost libraries of mid-century modern architecture, recently announced its newest archive containing the William Krisel papers. The collection consists of drawings, photographs and written documents that illuminate one of the region’s most prolific architects.
The Alexander Weekend, March 25-27, 2011, celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Palm Springs Preservation Foundation’s inaugural event in 2001 that first recognized the Alexander Construction Company’s significant contributions to modernist residential architecture in Palm Springs.
In conjunction with its first Great Alexander Weekend, the Palm Springs Preservation Foundation published a tribute journal entitled When Mod Went Mass: A Celebration of Alexander Homes. The weekend and tribute journal launched a growing appreciation of the seminal role the Alexander Construction Company played in the creation of Palm Springs’ “built environment.” It also brought to the forefront the architectural importance of those Alexander-built tract homes designed by architects William Krisel and Donald Wexler.