When traveling to Palm Springs once a year for Modernism Week, William Krisel’s homes are always must visits and there was no edition without him so far! But yesterday, June 5th, 2017 he died at the age of 92 in Beverly Hills, California.
“William Krisel designed tens of thousands of economical tract homes across Southern California”
Over the course of his long career, Architect William Krisel brought modernism to the masses, designing more than 40,000 individual housing units across the United States. Krisel’s influential work has become synonymous with mid-20th century Southern Californian design.
Krisel partnered with architect Dan Palmer from 1950 to 1966, and the pair became famous for developing popular tract houses in Palm Springs, in collaboration with the prolific Alexander Construction Company. Remember the Alexanders at modernism Week? The 2,000 or so homes they designed in Palm Springs have similar floor plans, but vary significantly in their outward appearance due to a menu of playful roof lines, concrete breeze blocks, and ornamental features the designers employed in their construction.
A signature feature of Palmer and Krisel’s homes became the butterfly roof, which juts upward on either side of the house, resembling a pair of wings.
There’s so much more to say about his great work and so much to learn from his designs and ideas, we don’t know where to begin…
The best way to start is Director Jake Gorst’s documentary on Krisel that he shares for free for the next two weeks on Vimeo:
Images: la.curbed, palmspringslife.com, pinterest.com,