Palm Springs Modern: Houses in the California Desert

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9780847820917: Palm Springs Modern: Houses in the California Desert

This classic volume, now available at a lower price, showcases jet-set homes designed by the likes of Neutra, Frey, Lautner, and others. Palm Springs is famous as a mecca for the international jet set. But the city has also attracted its share of eccentrics and mavericks who have left an architectural legacy that remains unsurpassed for its originality and international influence. This book examines the impact that architects and designers have had on the desert oasis, primarily from the 1940s to the 1960s. Palm Springs Modern features examples of midcentury modernism at its most glamorous, some of them the residences of prominent figures who commissioned weekend getaways in the desert, including Frank Sinatra, Walter Annenberg, and Raymond Loewy. Adéle Cygelman’s insightful text, a foreword by architectural historian Joseph Rosa, contemporary color photography by David Glomb, and the celebrated archival black-and-white work of Julius Shulman all capture the distinctly modern allure of America’s famed desert playground.

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Review:

When designers such as Richard Neutra, John Lautner, and Albert Frey came together with members of the Hollywood elite like Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, and Lucille Ball, they produced luxury homes nestled in bouldered hills and vacation estates located along green fairways. Palm Springs Modern documents this 40-year architectural explosion in the California desert.

One of the more dramatic collaborations was between Los Angeles architect Quincy Jones and billionaire Walter Annenberg, erstwhile publisher and ambassador to Britain under Richard Nixon. Annenberg and his wife, Lee, commissioned the Rancho Mirage Estate house with the express purpose of entertaining such heavyweights as Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, and Ronald Reagan. Jones envisioned water and green grass on the outside--"I don't want to see one grain of sand except in the golf traps"--and an interior sympathetic to the Annenbergs' collection of impressionist art and oriental antiques. Near the end of the two-year project, Lee asked that the Japanese- and Mayan-inspired pyramidal roof be pink. So it was that pink became the signature hue of the Annenbergs' fabulous Rancho Mirage home.

Using many of the same general principles Jones employed--an open floor plan and the integration of the interior and exterior spaces--Donald Wexler and Ric Harrison's Steel Development Houses represent a very different perspective. Built almost entirely of steel, concrete, and glass, these 1,400-square-foot houses cost between $13,000 and $17,000 in 1962 and could be built in three days. They are minimal in design, aside from the butterfly ceilings, and are incredibly energy efficient. By using steel instead of wood, the buildings are expected to last for many, many years with little or no maintenance. Who would have guessed that the Bauhaus principles, which originated in Germany with Walter Gropius, would find their way to the California desert?

Author Adele Cygelman offers a succinct history beginning with the rise of desert modernity in the 1930s through to its fall from grace in the early 1970s. The photographs by David Glomb are spectacular. All together, Palm Springs Modern is a tantalizing feast of some of the very best mid-century domestic design. --Loren E. Baldwin

About the Author:

Adéle Cygelman worked as an editor at Architectural Digest for twelve years. Joseph Rosa is the director of the University of Michigan Museum of Art. David Glomb’s photography has appeared in House & Garden, Architectural Digest, and House Beautiful, among other publications.

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Cygelman, Adele
Editore: Rizzoli (1999)
ISBN 10: 0847820912 ISBN 13: 9780847820917
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Descrizione libro Rizzoli, 1999. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Never used!. Codice libro della libreria P110847820912

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Cygelman, Adele
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Adele Cygelman, David Glomb (Photographer), Joseph Rosa (Introduction)
Editore: Rizzoli (1999)
ISBN 10: 0847820912 ISBN 13: 9780847820917
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Descrizione libro Rizzoli, 1999. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria DADAX0847820912

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