|Home by Modern architect William Krisel '49.|
Twin Palms Estates in Palm Springs, California.
Picture of Krisel's wife, Corrine, and photo take by famed architectural
photographer Julius Shulman as seen in Trojan Family magazine.
The article explains that the big-name architects couldn't really bring modernism to the masses. USC-trained architect, William Krisel '49 including the late Edward Fickett '37, made their names by working on mass-produced housing required after World War II. Both Krisel and Fickett, never received the recognition of other USC-affiliated architects like Pierre Koenig, A. Quicey Jones and Richard Neutra, because they worked on larger scale housing tracts for developers.
|Photo by James Schnepf|
Declared, artist Michael Stern, curator and writer of a 2008 exhibition and book on architectural photographer Julius Shulman,
“What Bill Krisel did was bring Modernism to the masses. Krisel packed excellent architecture into houses of modest size, made of modest materials, and he did it on a very thin dime.”
|Twin Palms Estate by William Krisel|
|Twin Palms by Willliam Krisel|
Read Krisel's comments about mass 50's housing tracts, for the Trojan Magazine article:
At the time, he said, the American Institute of Architects frowned on mass-produced housing, considering the work “not prestigious enough. But I wanted to do a small house that had the feel of a bigger house,” Krisel said. “I wanted people to walk into a house and say, ‘How many square feet? 1,500?’ And I’d say, ‘No, 900.’ ” Square footage doesn’t matter, Krisel continued. “Volume and architecture make a space feel like it feels.”
|Drawings for Twin Palms by William Krisel|
Timothy Melendez has collected some amazing examples of William Krisel work on Pinterest. Click through and enjoy.
|Bill Krisel is known for brick work like this.|
From Tojan Family article.
Both Krisel's and Fickett's work are undergoing somewhat of a renaissance as their homes are still affordable and are quintessential mid-century. (And, how often can you throw a word like quintessential into a sentence?)
I leave you with these last words from the Trojan article, explaining why modern architecture and design are still going strong after their inception in the 40's and 50's:
“Modernism is not a style, it’s a language,” Krisel declared. “And languages don’t die out; they adapt.”
Modernism for the Masses, by Allison Engel, Autumn 2012, USC Trojan Family.