Preview: Sandpiper Walking Tour

Sandpiper, William Krisel, James Schnepf

It’s not everyday that you can take a stroll through time, but Palm Springs Modernism Week offers the fleet-footed and design-obsessed fans of modernism exactly that!

The Sandpiper in Palm Desert, designed by renowned architect William Krisel, was originally advertised as the “smartest address in the desert” with an emphasis on “carefree living.”  Using his amazing vision of modernist views paired with realistic designs, Krisel delivered some of the most remembered and fantastic living spaces and the Sandpiper, one of the nation’s first condominium developments, is perhaps the best place to see his marriage of architecture and landscape architecture.   It has remained largely unaltered, making it one of the largest concentrations of intact midcentury architecture anywhere and a perfect example of the idea of modernism for the masses.

Handling both the architecture and landscape architecture fits Krisel’s philosophy that an architect should take full responsibility for the total design. “The interior and exterior are all really one entity and shouldn’t be done by two different people,” he says.   It was precisely this holistic approach that garnered Krisel a merit award for landscaping for this project.  Each unit boasts a strong connection between indoor and outdoor living spaces and offers privacy and views, despite being in a communal living environment.

With the Sandpiper, Krisel succeeded in creating graceful, light-filled modern homes that ordinary people could afford, elevating the condo from an idea to an ideal way of living.  Tour a few of the Sandpiper homes and learn how associations and owners are dealing today with issues of preservation, restoration, and renovation.  Experience the site lines, mountains, and amazing landscape and see why Julius Shulman found the Sandpiper such a great place to shoot.

The walking tour concludes with a twilight reception at the Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert, located next to the Sandpiper.  Remember this is a walking tour, so participants must be able to navigate steps.  For more information or to buy tickets, click here.

Photo by James Schnepf

 

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