Natural Retreats Top 3 Homes of 'Modernism Week'
Every February since its creation in 2009, 75,000 modernist enthusiasts from across the world head to the mecca of modernism, Palm Springs California, to celebrate mid century architecture and design during Modernism Week. This 10 day festival, which takes place from February 16th to the 26th, features more than 250 events including home and garden tours, films, lectures, culinary events, the vintage furniture show and sale, and much more.
Since the 1920’s, modernist architects used the dramatic geographic setting of the Palm Springs desert to create sleek modern homes that evoked a lifestyle of simple elegance and informality using inventive materials and modern construction techniques. Fast forward to 2017, Palm Springs has the largest concentration of Mid-Century Modern Architecture in the country.
At Natural Retreats, our handpicked portfolio in Palm Springs encompasses the Mid Century Modern, Desert Contemporary, and New-Century Modern styles of architecture and design that this event seeks to highlight. Three of our beautiful Palm Springs homes have been selected to appear in Modernism Week for their representation of the Desert Modernist style.
Home One: Koi House
Situated in the Historic Tennis Club neighborhood of Palm Springs overlooking the San Jacinto Mountains, Koi House is a newly built home which reflects the Mid Century Modernist style through its unique architecture and customized interior design. Architecturally, the open floor plan, high ceilings and clerestories which allow natural light to flow throughout the home, exemplify the simplicity and forward looking style of mid-century modernism.
Another major element of this style of architecture and design is the integration of nature within a living space. This is reflected in the home’s private gardens, covered lanai, and meditative koi pond. Original art and custom furniture fitting of that era decorate the interior. These specific elements earn Koi House a place in Modernism Week’s prestigious “Signature Homes Tour.” This carefully curated tour, which takes place on two consecutive Sundays (February 19th and 26th) features seven significant homes mirroring the style of Desert Modern Architecture.
Home Two: Skyfall
Located in the South Palm Springs' neighborhood of Cahuilla Hills, Skyfall is one of the finest examples of 1960s period architecture with a true James Bond vibe. Circular in design, this 2,800 square-foot, three bedroom, three bath home features expansive walls of glass which look onto the circular pool and spa in the foreground, with stunning 180-degree jetliner views of the Valley beyond.
Built in 1963 as a spec project by architect R. Denzil Lee in which he followed the natural contours of the rocky slope to create this futuristic home unlike any other in the area. Unusual for the construction process, the pool was built first and became the center of the home’s design. The nostalgia of the 1960s and its Desert Contemporary vibe is maintained through carefully chosen accents such as the Peter Max and Yellow Submarine murals seen throughout the house. Skyfall will be featured, along with Koi House, in the “Signature Homes Tour.”
Home Three: Frank Sinatra Twin Palms Estate
Designed by E. Stewart Williams in 1947 for Frank Sinatra and his first wife, Nancy Barbato, Twin Palms Sinatra Estate is mid-century architecture in its purest form. This estate couples mid-century style luxury with historical significance. Featuring period furnishings and the infamous piano-shaped swimming pool, this legendary residence was once host to some of Palm Spring’s most glamorous Hollywood Parties.
Twin Palms is completely restored with vintage designer furnishings throughout the residence and includes the original sound and recording system used by Sinatra himself. The kitchen is the most recent restoration with Viking appliances and St. Charles modern cabinetry resembling the original kitchen design.
Sinatra’s Home will also be featured in the legendary Palm Springs Modernism Week in several walking tours as well as the “Night at the Frank Sinatra Estate.” In true Sinatra fashion, the Sinatra Estate once known for it’s happy hours, opens its bar once again for an evening of classic mid century cocktails in honor of ‘Ol’ Blue Eyes’ himself.