A&D: Palm Springs – Modern Architecture’s Magnificent Mecca

Since the 1920s, Palm Springs has been Hollywood’s desert playground for celebrities to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of showbiz. The legendary “Two-Hour Rule” of Hollywood studios put Palm Springs on the map as an ideal getaway locale. Actors under contract had to be available within two hours from the studio in case last minute film or photo shoots were necessary. Having waxed and waned over ensuing decades, Palm Springs today is the definition of a modern desert oasis and a new generation of Hollywood A-listers has succumbed to the lure of the region and inherent privacy it offers. Pressed up against the stark face of the San Jacinto Mountains (Spanish for St. Hyacinth), Palm Springs is a contemporary design dream enveloped by a dry, parched landscape.


Modernist gems by architects including Richard Neutra and Albert Fray complement the bungalows once owned by stars like Marilyn Monroe and Cary Grant in the Movie Colony neighborhood. Case in point: the former 1957 residence of actor William Holden by architect John Porter Clark (featured above). Reimagined by Rodrigo Vargas of Rodrigo Vargas Design, the goal was to preserve the bold yet understated post and beam structure while infusing the interior with modern style and state of the art conveniences. “High style meets relaxed luxury” certainly applies. Whether renovating the past or inventing the future, Palm Springs’ tradition to ooze modern design inspiration continues to delight.