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March 7, 2016
A new book explores the legacy of modernist icon William Krisel.
Tract house with a butterfly roof in Palm Springs by William Krisel

A tract house with a butterfly roof designed in 1956 for Joe Dunas.

Courtesy of 
Darren Bradley and James Schnepf from William Krisel’s Palm Springs. Reprinted by permission of Gibbs Smith.
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1956 tract house in Palm Springs designed by William Krisel

Another 1956 tract house with a flat roof designed by Krisel.

Courtesy of 
Darren Bradley and James Schnepf from William Krisel’s Palm Springs. Reprinted by permission of Gibbs Smith.
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Interior of the Ocotillo Lodge in Palm Springs, designed by William Krisel

Krisel designed the Ocotillo Lodge, a hotel that featured a number of his signature design moves: post-and-beam construction, walls of glass, and an indoor/outdoor element, among others. Pictured here is the interior of one of the hotel's bungalows.

Courtesy of 
Darren Bradley and James Schnepf from William Krisel’s Palm Springs. Reprinted by permission of Gibbs Smith.
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Midcentury modern house at the Sandpiper in Palm Springs

The Sandpiper is a group of nine real estate subdivisions (306 homes in total), designed by Krisel and built between 1958 and 1969. Krisel also did all the landscape design for the site.

Courtesy of 
Darren Bradley and James Schnepf from William Krisel’s Palm Springs. Reprinted by permission of Gibbs Smith.
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Midcentury modern home in Kings Point in Palm Springs

A home in Krisel's Kings Point development, an 11-acre site off of the Canyon Country Club golf course that was designed in the early 1960s.

Courtesy of 
Darren Bradley and James Schnepf from William Krisel’s Palm Springs. Reprinted by permission of Gibbs Smith.
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Midcentury house with a geometric landscape design by William Krisel

Krisel was also known for his boldly modern approach to landscape. The Menrad residence, shown here, features a distinct geometric design. The architect, working in the harsh Palm Springs climate, relied on hardscape elements—setting a precedent for drought-tolerant landscape design.

Courtesy of 
Darren Bradley and James Schnepf from William Krisel’s Palm Springs. Reprinted by permission of Gibbs Smith.
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Midcentury bedroom in Palm Springs by William Krisel

The interior of the Menrad residence, with a raised ceiling and glass walls. "The house felt like the ultimate expression of what postwar residential architecture in California was all about," resident Chris Menrad writes in the book.

Courtesy of 
Darren Bradley and James Schnepf from William Krisel’s Palm Springs. Reprinted by permission of Gibbs Smith.
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Open-plan midcentury modern interior in Palm Springs

The Buzyn residence features an open-plan interior.

Courtesy of 
Darren Bradley and James Schnepf from William Krisel’s Palm Springs. Reprinted by permission of Gibbs Smith.
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Tract house with a butterfly roof in Palm Springs by William Krisel

A tract house with a butterfly roof designed in 1956 for Joe Dunas.

William Krisel's Palm Springs (Gibbs Smith) is the first major monograph dedicated to the architect, who helped introduce the modern aesthetic to the desert city on a mass scale. He designed countless examples of the tract house, which Alan Hess describes in the book as "the basic building block of the modern suburban metropolises growing after 1945." Krisel's single-family homes embraced the more contemporary post-war lifestyle with open-plan layouts and a connection to the outdoors. Here, we've gathered a few of our favorite examples of his architecture from the book, which prove his role in cementing the midcentury style of Palm Springs.

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