Mid-century modern architecture is so prevalent in Palm Springs that it’s become a defining feature of this lush oasis town, with more homes created in this spacious contemporary style than anywhere else.

To look at how this architectural style became so popular, let’s look at the many movements and influences behind it and why Palm Springs is the perfect place for homes built with these features.

Bauhaus and International Style Influences

Mid-century modern architecture receives its biggest influences from the Bauhaus and International styles. 

The Bauhaus movement is an avant-garde style from Germany that began in the early twentieth century with a heavy focus on abstraction, asymmetry, straight, geometric lines and open floor plans.

Characteristically, buildings built after the International style are stripped of any ornamentation, focusing more on a weightless visual quality, usually accomplished with the heavy use of glass. This incredibly influential architectural style began in Europe in the 1920s before heading across the pond to influence skyscrapers in skylines across American cities in the 1930s.

Mid-century modern architecture combined the asymmetrical, geometric lines and open floor plans of Bauhausian architecture with the unadorned simplicity of International architecture, reworking them with a focus on blurring the lines between indoor and outdoor spaces. 

Desert Modernism

The architectural style of mid-century modern influence is also known in Palm Springs as desert modernism for two main reasons:

  • The asymmetrical geometric lines of mid-century modern roofs perfectly contrast and complement the stark natural beauty of the towering Santa Rosa and San Jacinto mountains to the south.
  • The use of sparse walls and sliding glass doors is meant to bring outdoor spaces into interior areas, with many homes containing sliding walls that easily turn indoor living rooms into pool decks. 

 Mid-Century Modern Influence Today

The popularity of mid-century modern homes and architecture persists to this day, with multiple popular ways that locals and visitors can appreciate this artistic style.

Book a tour to view the many properties in Palm Springs and learn more about the many celebrities who lived in these houses, the architects who designed them and their influence on modern-day architecture.

Modernism Week is a popular Palm Springs event that takes place every February. It is designed to foster an appreciation of this architectural style and the art, fashion, and culture that the modernist movement has also influenced.

With more than 350 events, such as home tours, films, lectures, live performances, exhibitions and parties, Modernism Week is one of the most popular annual events in Palm Springs. 

Palm Springs Architects

Palm Springs has the distinction of having multiple world-famous architects influence the unique look of this desert town, including:

  • Lloyd Wright, son of Frank Lloyd Wright
  • Albert Frey
  • John Porter Clark
  • George and Bob Alexander
  • Richard Neutra
  • William Krisel
  • Hugh Kaptur
  • John Lautner

Are you interested in learning more about the Palm Springs real estate market? Contact Geoffrey Moore online or by phone at (760) 641-5689 for more expert local information!

Posted by Geoffrey Moore on


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