spotlight on: palm springs modernism

by clé tile | published: Feb 17, 2023

referred to by some as the Camp David of the West, Sunnylands has entertained politicians and celebrities alike. it was built in 1966 by architect A. Quincy Jones. Courtesy of Palm Springs Art Museum via Architectural Digest.

269 days of sun a year. bolthole for the rich, famous–and infamous. the Rat Pack. Elvis. Marilyn. and Leo and Beyoncé and Brad.

while we love a good celebrity sighting, at clé we often think of other stars associated with Palm Springs. Richard (Neutra). Donald (Wexler). Albert (Frey). John (Lautner). A. Quincy (Jones).

architects all (many of whom were hired by the aforementioned celebrities) they transformed Palm Springs into a hotbed of modernist and experimental architecture. another reason we have a soft spot for the work of these architects? they had a way with tile, of course, using it liberally and with plenty of flair indoors and out.

Ridge Mountain Residence from architect steven ehrlich of EYRC

today, architects like steven ehrlich of EYRC and Marmol Radziner continue the tradition with icons in the making: modernist-veering-on-brutalist homes in Palm Springs and surrounding areas like Joshua Tree.

in honor of Palm Springs Modernism Week, the annual celebration of all things modernism (replete with house tours, parties, exhibits, and talks), we’ve chosen a few of our favorites.

Palm Springs served as the filming location for Don’t Worry Darling set in the 1950’s. image courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

guests by the pool at Nelda Linsk's desert house in Palm Springs, January 1970. the house was designed by Richard Neutra for Edgar Kaufman — photo by Slim Aarons.

"Racquet Club Estates Lounging," oil on canvas, 33x46," 2017 by Danny Heller.

Frank Sinatra's Twin Palm Estate. photo via natural retreats.

desert palisades in palm springs, architect: Woods + Dangaran. photo via Harold Magazine.

The Ocotillo Lodge opened in 1957 and was designed by Palmer & Krisel to bring architectural innovation and the luxury hotel experience to South Palm Springs as part of the larger Twin Palms development. (The Ocotillo Lodge was later famously owned by the Singing Cowboy, Gene Autry). image via Mira Lehtimaki.

interior of The House of Tomorrow. image: Darren Bradley via palm springs life magazine.

poolside at the Ingleside Inn.

channel mid-century design with our mid-century mosaics, cement standards, forage terrazzo, and clé guild: new california.

channel those desert vibes with le sol terracotta, clé zellige, and fornace brioni + cristina celestino.