The Krisel Connection is dedicated to showcasing and discussing the works of modernist architect William Krisel. Architect to tens of thousands of tract homes, custom residences and numerous commercial buildings, Krisel’s distinct style and cutting-edge design helped set the tone for modern architecture in America during the mid-century.
Sandpiper Palm Desert - Palm Desert, CA
Sandpiper Palm Desert Location Map
Built between 1958 and 1970 in Palm Desert, CA is the
modernist condominium development of Sandpiper. Consisting of 306 units
dispersed throughout 17 condominium “circles,” the development was built in various
stages over the years by multiple builders. Circles 1-14 were designed by
Palmer & Krisel, with the first Circle being completed in 1958 built by
George M. Holstein & Sons in conjunction with the Western Land and Capital
Company. Holstein & Sons built the first four circles, while Sandpiper
Builders, formed by entrepreneurs George Osborn and William Kemp built circles
5 through 17. The final Palmer & Krisel-designed circles were completed in approximately
1965, while later-built circles comprise the non-Palmer & Krisel models.
Units range in size from just under 1,000 square feet to
nearly 3,000 square feet, and were designed with 16 units centered around a common
swimming pool comprising a “circle.” Each unit was designed so as not to provide
views directly into an adjacent unit, and all units contain a unique blend of
public and private space. Entries are typically located along the side of each
unit, and parking takes the form of both carport and garage parking spaces.
Vintage ad featuring Sandpiper Palm Desert
Sandpiper features a magnificent collection of decorative midcentury concrete block, shadow block and breezeblocks in a variety of textures and patterns. Adjacent
buildings would vary decorative block style, along with unique executions of
sunflaps, clerestories and eave details.