The Man Who Constructed Modernism-Based Housing For The Masses
Tract houses bring to mind the art of being the same, from the same colors, to the same style. They are identical walls of living quarters framing many suburban streets.Most architects don’t even consider them proper individual houses but more than half a century ago, William Krisel broke the monotony that was tract homes. Today, Palm Springs is honoring the man who helped shaped they city’s living spaces.
The moment you step into Krisel’s homes, you take a step backinto another era. The houses have angled roofs with oversized glass windows and a desert colored palette with accentingtons of golds and shimmery blues. With their simple lines and usage of glass walls, the houses bring much of the outside in, creating a seamless barrier between shelter and environment. The house of Heidi Creighton is a tract house with a flat roof and a sun flap, and eliminating the edgy flat TV in the living room would take you back to 1962. Most of the furnishing Creighton has chosen reflects the era and the house itself.
While Krisel’s work is spread across the United States, his project in Palm Springs proving that modern houses in the 1960’s could be affordable and more importantly habitable for the common man.He stated that even though seven of the tenbiggest homebuilders were his clients at one time, he has built more than 40,000 living units altogether.He also dabbled in landscaping, which was crucial to properly bring the outdoors in. Krisel says that a house can open your mind and change your lifestyle and that the ecology of a space plays a major role in how you design your home. In order to commemorate the 91 year old architect, house owners are restoring their Krisel homes to their original glory, just in time to celebrateModernism Week and renaming a street to honor him.