Modernism Week 2018

photo by Jevpic


Modernism Week, the February festival that highlights midcentury modern architecture, art, interior and landscape design, and vintage culture in the Palm Springs area of Southern California, will offer tours of its first Showcase Home and two Featured Homes during the 11-day event that runs February 15-25, 2018. These stellar home tours still have availability and tickets may be purchased at A portion of ticket proceeds benefit Modernism Week (a non-profit organization) and other local preservation, neighborhood and community groups.

This year, the organization is offering tours of the first-ever Modernism Week Showcase Home – Moroccan Modern. This one-of-a-kind custom built home from 1975 was designed by architect Hal Lacy and recently renovated to modern luxury by Thomboy Properties. When guests enter this stunning private property through majestic custom-carved 10′ high double entry doors, they are immediately surrounded by a private and completely secluded world. While the house is thoroughly modernized, the architect created tremendous drama by adding magnificent touches that evoke the essence of Morocco, including details in the entry and master doors, decorative medallion cutouts and metal screens visible from the street, and the geometry of the angled walls. This house represents a wonderful blend of design elements known as Moroccan Modern. Modernism Week Showcase Home tours will be held on both weekends of Modernism Week (February 16,17,18, 23 and 24) at various times per day. Tickets are $40.

Two Featured Homes are also available for tours. The first, Modernism Week Featured Home – Hidden Frey, is a rare opportunity to tour a newly restored 1966 tennis estate designed by renowned Palm Springs architect Albert Frey. Recently acquired by Thomboy Properties, known for their successful transformation of more than 20 homes in Palm Springs, this property will debut for public tours during Modernism Week 2018. Dubbed “Hidden Frey,” the property is relatively unknown even by Palm Springs architectural historians and because it is constructed below street level and truly hidden from view. WI Hollingsworth purchased the lot where the tennis estate now resides, adjacent to the Racquet Club. Charlie Farrell did not want the eyesore of a chain link fence, commonly associated with tennis courts, in proximity to his Racquet Club, so Hollingsworth excavated the lot below street level to minimize visibility of his estate. Frey was hired to design the structure.

It demonstrates quintessential Frey characteristics, including a rolled roof, a cantilevered carport, and an elevated pool. At just over 1,900 square feet, the demure home fronts directly onto the tennis court with a large outdoor entertaining space, three bedrooms, and four bathrooms on a gated lot. This small but remarkable property is a rare opportunity to experience Desert Modernismas it was intended. Tours of Hidden Frey run from February 18 – 20 and tour tickets are $30.

The second Featured Home is the Modernism Week Featured Home – Maison a l’Orange. Modernism Week has arranged for an exclusive tour of this private home in South Palm Springs, affectionately called “Maison a l’Orange.” The Palm Springs design team of Howard Hawkes and Kevin Kemper of H3K Design worked closely with the owner over the past year customizing the house for the owner’s enjoyment, but also as an expression for her love of midcentury modern architecture and Palm Springs. Walls of glass, a soaring roof line, and a Googie-inspired lounge make Maison a l’Orange the pièce de résistance for retro enthusiasts.

The history of the home dates back to 1960, when famed Glendale-based architect Clair Earl designed 3 neighboring houses on LaVerne Way in Palm Springs near the Twin Palms development. These houses are magnificent examples of midcentury modern architecture, each with their own characteristic look. The house sat in severe disrepair and neglect but was recently completely renovated and will be unveiled for the first time during Modernism Week 2018. Tours of Maison a l’Orange run from February 18 – 20 and tour tickets are $30. The house is also part of the Atomic Ranch Live: Seminars, Workshops and Tours on February 17.

Modernism Week participants have made it clear that they desire to tour exciting homes that are rarely open to the public,” said William Kopelk, Modernism Week Board Chairman. “That’s why this year we are offering tours of our first Showcase Home and two exciting Featured Homes. Each one of these homes showcases a remarkable blend of historic architecture, supplemented by modern design updates.  We look forward to offering more Showcase and Featured Homes in future Modernism Week festivals.”

WHAT: Modernism Week
WHEN: February 15-25, 2018

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