Once upon a time, Palm Springs attracted two types of visitors. The first group was mostly movie stars and wannabes. The second group consisted of those who desired a healthier way of living, which was due in part because of the location’s mineral springs and their apparent healing properties.
Although Palm Springs past was somewhat unattainable to the average individual who was healthy and wealthy, today’s Palm Springs is attainable to all, and boy does it have a lot of interesting history to offer. Architectural styles anyone?
After World War II, there was a huge construction boom. Since it was known for its wealthy inhabitants, many top architects were attracted to this quiet area hidden in the Coachella Valley.
By this time, the modernism style of architecture had made its way to the United States and more importantly, had given Southern California architects food for thought and creation.
They were inspired by the Bauhaus approach to design, as well as the International Style of architecture, which had created an elegant yet functional look. This is referred to as desert modernism.
Desert modernism embraces the exterior environment and incorporates its celebration into the architectural design. So in this case, the warm and sunny climate of Palm Springs was welcomed by houses designed with expansive glass walls and huge windows, open floor plans, and of course dramatic roof designs.
When you think about it, it seems that houses were designed to hide from its surroundings, a way to take refuge. But embracing the beautiful surroundings as part of your interior decor seems to bring the genius of this style into the spotlight.
Every year, Palm Springs holds Modernism Week, which celebrates the countless mid-century modern houses in Palm Springs. It is worth the trip and find yourself exploring the historical architecture and culture.
From the Factory Floor
by Gerald Olesker, CEO ADG Lighting