The Cool House: William Krisel, Architect

Monday, July 28, 2008

William Krisel, Architect

You read it here first: sometime soon you will be able to see a documentary about renowned west coast architect William (Bill) Krisel. I know this because The Cool House played host to Desert Utopia film maker Jake Gorst, as he shot an interview with the architect's son. How cool is that? The son of one mid-century architect and the grandson of the architect of my house together at on a warm Saturday in July?

Krisel with partner Dan Palmer, is probably best known for the butterfly roof tract homes he designed for the Alexander Construction Company in Palm Springs between 1956 and 1965. These homes played an important part in popularising what has come to be known as mid-century modernism. Other more expensive homes were often landscaped with cast concrete screens that are so evocative of modern Californian architecture.

In 1962 he designed The House of Tomorrow for Robert and Helene Alexander, which was featured in Look Magazine. It became known as the Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway Palace when the singer rented it as a California getaway for himself and his bride Priscilla.
If you want to own a Krisel and Palmer home originals sell for close to $1,000,000 but they can be hard to find. You can also buy a re-released Butterfly House with updated modern amenities through Maxx Livingstone Ltd.

Until the documentary is released you'll have to make do with this fascinating video of Krisel talking about his life and works at the Dwell Conference in 2006. Enjoy!


Unknown said...

My husband and I just bought our first home and it is a Palmer & Krisel in North Hills, the original Storybook Village development. I would love to call Mr. Krisel to say hello to let him know just how much we love our home. How do you think I would do this? Does anyone have his number? I know he lives in Brentwood...Thanks so much. Sherry

modernemama said...

Hi Sherry, if you send me a comment with your details I won't publish them but I'll pass them on to Bill via Jake Gorst