Sunday Sanctuary: Frey House II

  An avid Palm Springs lover since forever, this Sunday Sanctuary ticks all the boxes. This beauty is designed by the one and only Albert Frey, often described as one of the founding architects of Palm Springs, California.  Having visited Palm Springs not to so long ago it would be hard to imagine the desert city

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Pavlina Williams transforms mid-century dome house with angular windows

A dome-shaped house in Palm Springs has undergone renovation work undertaken by its owner, Los Angeles-based architect Pavlina Williams, who added new windows and created open-plan interiors. Williams renovated her home from the inside-out, acting as the general contractor while gutting the interiors, and ripping down walls to create a light-filled space inside. She designed

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Cantilevered roof extends from Palm Springs guardhouse by Studio AR+D

Los Angeles firm Studio AR+D has built a weathering steel-clad guardhouse for a new neighbourhood in Palm Springs, with cantilevers that form a roof over a parking spot and large boulder. Desert Palisades Guardhouse forms a security checkpoint for a residential area under construction in the Californian desert city. The expansive views of Chino Canyon

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William F Cody designed Abernathy House for poolside parties in Palm Springs

Our series profiling the mid-century marvels of Palm Springs during the city’s Modernism Week concludes with the Abernathy House by American architect William F Cody, which was designed to maximise outdoor living. Cody designed the house in 1962 for James Logan Abernathy, a wealthy socialite in Palm Springs and the son of a pioneering furniture

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A-frame roofs form Charles DuBois’ Swiss Miss houses in Palm Springs

As we near the end of our series celebrating Palm Springs’ mid-century architecture, coinciding with the city’s Modernism Week, here’s a look at the chalet-esque houses that Charles DuBois designed to stand out from their neighbours. The Swiss Miss Houses were built in the Vista Las Palmas neighbourhood of Palm Springs, which was undergoing development in

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Canopies and porticos shade outdoor spaces at Albert Frey’s Palm Springs City Hall

Our series covering modernist architecture in Palm Springs continues with the city’s municipal building, designed by Swiss architect Albert Frey to include large canopies over its entrances – one with palm trees growing through its centre. Frey – who was prolific in the city – completed the Palm Springs City Hall in 1952, in the modernist

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Donald Wexler pioneered prefab living in Palm Springs with Steel Houses

The seven experimental steel-framed houses that architect Donald Wexler built in Palm Springs are early examples of customisable prefab homes, and are next in our series celebrating the city’s mid-century architecture for this year’s Modernism Week. Palm Springs-based Wexler and his partner Richard Harrison designed the seven Steel Development Houses to provide a housing model

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John Lautner’s concrete domed Elrod House overlooks Coachella Valley

We’re continuing our series on modernist buildings in Palm Springs with American architect John Lautner’s Arthur Elrod House, which has a dome-shaped concrete roof and a half-moon swimming pool that featured in the James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever. The residence sits on an elevated site in Palm Springs’ Araby Cove neighbourhood, facing north to

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Kate Ballis’ infrared photography displays California modernism in vivid hues

Australian photographer Kate Ballis has toured Palm Springs with an infrared camera and coloured filters to produce these images, which show the muted desert city in lucid purple, pink and red tones. Melbourne-based Ballis created the Infra Realism series to offer alternative views of Palm Springs’ famed mid-20th century architecture, having captured its vistas many times

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Tapered colonnade fronts Coachella Valley Savings and Loan bank by E Stewart Williams

Scooped white columns resembling upturned arches provide a decorative facade for the Coachella Valley Savings & Loan bank designed by E Stewart Williams, which is next up in our series spotlighting Palm Springs’ mid-century architecture during the city’s Modernism Week. The Palm Springs-based architect – who founded his firm Williams, Williams & Williams with his

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Twin Palms by E Stewart Williams provided a private retreat for Frank Sinatra

Our series covering the best mid-century architecture in Palm Springs, to coincide with the California city’s Modernism Week, continues with the sprawling estate created for music and film legend Frank Sinatra. Twin Palms was designed by E Stewart Williams, one of several architects that have become synonymous with Palm Springs’ unique brand of “desert modernism”.

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Modernist Bank of America in Palm Springs is modelled on a Le Corbusier chapel

This vibrant bank by architect Rudy Baumfield, based on Le Corbusier’s famed Ronchamp chapel, is next in our series profiling Palm Springs’ many impressive mid-century buildings during the city’s Modernism Week. Constructed in 1959, the Bank of America building takes cues from a design built five years earlier by Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier, as noted on

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John Lautner punctured Hope Residence’s giant roof with a crater-like hole

Continuing our series celebrating Palm Springs Modernism Week, we’re examining Hope Residence, the home that American architect John Lautner designed for comedian Bob Hope to resemble a volcano. Located in Palm Springs’ Southridge community, Hope Residence was completed in 1980 as the second home of the comedian – a popular film and television star at the

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Richard Neutra’s Kaufmann House epitomises desert modernism in Palm Springs

The second in our series highlighting the best buildings in Palm Springs during the city’s Modernism Week is Richard Neutra’s Kaufmann House, one of the most revered examples of residential architecture in the style. Built in 1946, the boxy two-storey residence has many defining elements of modern architecture – a flat roof, pale exterior and

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Tramway Gas Station by Frey and Chambers is a modernist gatehouse for Palm Springs

Palm Springs Modernism Week kicks off today, and we’re taking a closer look at some of the city’s best mid-century buildings to coincide with the event. First up is the Tramway Gas Station, designed by architects Albert Frey and Robson Chambers to mark the entrance into the modernist mecca. The station is located on the

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Modernist desert homes by o2 Architecture and Al Beadle complete in Palm Springs

Lance O’Donnell of o2 Architecture has overseen the completion of two dwellings in Palm Springs – a contemporary home he designed, and a never-built residence by famed mid-century modernist architect Al Beadle. The homes are referred to as the Miele Chino Canyon Project — a reference to their location within the Southern California city. The dwellings

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Doug Aitken installs entirely mirrored cabin in the Southern Californian desert

American artist Doug Aitken has built a small house-shaped structure, clad top-to-bottom in mirrors, in the desert outside Palm Springs. The Mirage sculpture is modelled on a ranch-style suburban American house. But it is composed of mirrored surfaces, which reflect the surroundings and camouflage the structure. “Mirage distills the recognisable and repetitious suburban home into the

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Eight mid-century houses that prove Palm Springs is a modernist mecca

To coincide with Palm Springs Modernism Week, we’ve picked out the Californian desert city’s best examples of mid-century residential architecture, which have hosted celebrities including Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra. Palm Springs boasts one of the best collections of modernist architecture in the world. Wealthy clients and celebrities from nearby Los Angeles and across the

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The Elrod House By Lautner

Does this house ring a bell somehow? Yes, we’ve seen it in the 1971 James Bond movie Diamonds are Forever and in Playboy, too.
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