A common theme of modernism is simplicity. Its architecture is characterized by clarity of form that follows function, visual expression of structure, “clean” lines, 90-degree angles, and true nature of materials. This year’s Modernism Week which runs from February 12 to 22 and is celebrating its 10th anniversary is anything but simple. The number of home tours has increased, and they have expanded to the eastern part of the Palm Springs Valley.
New this year are Jack Meiselman houses which are located in the Palm Springs neighborhoods of Little Beverly Hills, Sunmoor, Sunrise Park and Racquet Club Estates. Observable trademarks of modernism will be glass walls, clerestory windows, post-and-beam construction and concrete blocks.
Tours east of Palm Springs include homes in Indian Wells and Rancho Mirage’s historic Tamarisk Rancho development which will be featured in the Spring issue of Atomic Ranch magazine.
Indian Wells tours will visit six homes built between 1957 to 2012 and conclude with a lunch and lecture by architect Lance O’Donnell at the Indian Wells Golf Resort. O’Donnell is known for his “smart” houses which are built with sustainable materials and energy-efficient features. Visitors who happen to fall in love with one – or all – of these marvels of modernism and wish to own property nearby should know that Indian Wells homeowners have access to a wonderful year-round Resident Benefit Program. Perks include select discounts at city hotels, the Indian Wells Golf Resort, the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, and more!
Adjacent to Tamarisk Country Club, Tamarisk Rancho is comprised of 2 clusters of 16 Mid-Century Modern homes which enclose park-like green belts and a 45-ft. swimming pool. Master-planned by William Krisel and resembling the renowned Palmer and Krisel Alexander homes in the Twin Palms area of Palm Springs, luminaries like Groucho Marx and Barbara Sinatra once vacationed here. The 3 basic roof configurations are flat, low-pitched front gabled, and butterfly. Original windows are aluminum-framed casement, sliding, and floor-to-ceiling glass. Some elevations have clerestory windows. Rafters are visible beneath deep eaves. The rectangular houses have open floor plans with indoor-outdoor access through large sliding glass doors. Exterior and interior chimneys are thin brick or natural rock.
More than 100 Modernism Week events include films, lectures, bus tours, walking and bike tours, parties, a vintage travel trailer exhibition, and a Modernism Show at the Palm Springs Convention Center.
Proceeds from tour ticket sales will benefit neighborhood organizations or homeowner associations and may be used for architectural improvements and/or restoration.
By Hilary Christiansen