Indulge your inner design geek with this year’s Palm Springs Modernism Week, from Oct 15-18
Palm Springs elicits both a sense of laid back glamour and mystical wonder. Tucked away in California’s Sonoran Desert it is a shinning jewel in a barren land, surrounded by hills and permanently drenched in scorching sunshine. Known as an oasis for celebrities in nearby Los Angeles and bohemian artists alike, it retains a magical energy that few places hold.
Among its many charms are its independent stores, trendy hotels and innovative restaurants but it is the city’s architecture that truly makes it stand out. A capital of sorts for Midcentury-modern design, Palm Springs has preserved a great deal of its original character (no mean feat in a country that has protected very few contemporary architectural marvels).
Perhaps it is the very proximity to Los Angeles that has managed to preserve the homes and buildings that remain as architectural icons of design. The original homes were largely built for movie stars, musicians and film executives who enlisted the top and trendiest architects of the time to build their get-away homes from the prying eyes of fans and industry (Palm Springs is an easy 2 hours drive, which meant that if needed, stars could easily make their way back to a film set or recording studio). Later, when the homes were sold or inherited, a new community of artists and creatives that were drawn by its proximity to LA took their place, ensuring that many buildings remained largely untouched.
Today, almost 80 years after its foundation, Palm Springs remains a popular tourist destination for design aficionados and those looking for a quick escape to the desert. In 2006, architecture buffs founded the Palm Springs Modernism Week, a celebration of the city’s heritage and contribution to the global pantheon of design.
This year, the Modernism Week will be held from the 15th-18th of October in its first ever virtual setting, complete with tours, talks, presentations and discussions on design all through a three day digital conference.
In advance of the much celebrated conference, we take a step back to explore some of Palm Spring’s best mid-century modern buildings and their architects:
Without a doubt, there is a virtual smorgasbord of delectable architecture for design lovers in Palm Springs. No other city in the US, or perhaps the world, can compare to its incredible architectural structures. Tune in for Palm Springs Modernism Week this October for more and if you can’t get enough mid-century modern… venture over to Rancho Mirage for another heft dose.