Iconic. Minimalist. Cool. This year marks the 10th anniversary of Palm Springs Modernism Week (www.modernismweek.com), which takes place 12-22 February and promises a host of events to please anyone interested in design and architecture including Golden Era Hollywood Homes in Old Las Palmas Historical Walking Tour and Robert Imber’s famous guided drives around the city.
The mid-century modern architectural period spans the 1930s-1960s and is epitomised by Frank Lloyd Wright’s (www.franklloydwright.org/about/Overview.html) iconic merging of the American Arts and Crafts style with the German Bauhaus movement. Think Scandinavian functionality and low-slung open-beamed ceilings; open-plan designs and a desire to bring the outdoors indoors with the help of glass walls.
In the 1940s and ’50s, Hollywood stars keen to get away from the bright lights of LA came to the Californian desert town of Palm Springs to enjoy the beauty of the landscape – and let their hair down, away from scrutiny. Many of them made Palm Springs their home-away-from home. Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Bob Hope, Kirk Douglas and Cary Grant are some of the famous settlers of yesteryear. Nowadays, Palm Springs is once again becoming a hideaway for highflyers, thanks in part to the influence of the Coachella music & arts festival (www.coachella.com/) which is famed for its laid-back atmosphere.
Leonardo DiCaprio has recently become a Palm Springs homeowner, having bought a property once owned by 1940’s singer Dinah Shore who commissioned famed architect Donald Wexler (www.palmspringslife.com/Palm-Springs-Life/February-2011/The-Quiet-Elegance-of-Donald-Wexler/) to build it for her.
And who can blame Leo? Palm Springs is laidback and friendly, has some of the best restaurants California has to offer, not to mention an average of 360 sunshine days a year!
For more information, visit Palm Springs Tourism: www.visitpalmsprings.com/