'Casbah' Gala in the Desert

Palm Springs Modernism Week goes exotic for 2014 with Moroccan bash and lots more
Menlo Park
The Burgess Estate (photo: Dan Chavkin)

Modern architecture gets a bad rap in many places, seen as cold and alien, harsh, or even brutal. But Palm Springs gets it right. In the Coachella Valley, modern is all about pleasure.

Consider 'Palm Springs Modernism Week,' which runs this year from February 13 to 23. Yes, that's more than a week, but you'll need every moment to catch a fair sampling of the more than 100 tours, parties, dances, lectures, displays, sales, and exhibits that take place.

Some have already sold out but many more are available.

Consider 'A Night at the Casbah,' a Moroccan bash put on by the Palm Springs Modern Committee at the Burgess Estate on February 15. The home was designed by Hugh Kaptur and redone by Albert Frey, who added a studio that is "almost entirely mirrors inside and out, and has butterfly wing canopies throughout," says PS ModCom's president, Chris Menrad.

Kaptur, who has designed hundreds of buildings in the desert and is still working, will be celebrated throughout the week, with an exhibit of his work and a film about it, and the receipt of a sidewalk star.

Tours will include visits to Richard Neutra's Grace Miller house, and the Racquet Club Garden Villas, with homes designed by William Cody.

Click here for more on 'Palm Springs Modernism Week.'