geeking out travel

twin palms estates: krisel houses in palm springs

April 5, 2016


Hello there!  It’s been an age since I updated here, but we’re back.  And back from a short vacation in Palm Springs, which always manages to be a source of inspiration for me, no matter how many times I’ve been.  This was our fourth visit, and the place is enjoyable as ever.

The architecture and the outer-worldly landscape are what I’m drawn to again and again.  Before this trip, I read up a bit on one of the area’s foremost architects:  William Krisel.  Thanks to this book.


I’ll confess I have yet to read all of it, but one feature I adore are the architectural sketches included throughout.   Krisel’s drawings are very enjoyable:  almost Picasso-esque people, worm’s eye view perspectives, and homes always depicted with twin palms as part of the landscape.

We made sure to include some house-seeing as part of our trip.  We hit a couple of neighbourhoods, two of which featured Krisel-designed homes:  the Twin Palms Estates (natch, the subject of this post) and the Racquet Club Alexander homes, where we stayed a few years ago.

One of the great pleasures of Palm Springs is exploring these tracts.  I got a kick out of counting the palm trees in each front yard, to see who was living up to the namesake of this neighbourhood.

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This home with orange siding is the Model A2 built in 1957, and now a designated historic site, complete with its own plaque.


Breeze blocks are ubiquitous around here.  Love the blooming agaves silhouetted against these.

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I’ve tried tracking down details about those last two homes, and I’m not sure they’re by Krisel.  They don’t have the classic rooflines that make Krisel homes so recognizable:  the V, the asymmetrical gable, and the sun-flap.  Give a shout if you know anything about them– I’m very curious.

Of course my pictures don’t quite do them justice, and I totally recommend a weekend (or a week!) to visit and explore yourself.

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