Modernism Week – Meeting William Krisel

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If you read my teaser post a few weeks ago then you’ve been waiting for this post. Sorry for the delay, we’ve been pumping out remodels like it’s our job… Oh wait it is. Punny, right?

We took advantage of some free time on our trip to tour a couple pretty awesome subdivisions. The highlight definitely being a home that had a floating butterfly roof. It had recently been fully restored by a die-hard mid-mod fan. The one and only, William Krisel, also had a hand in helping restore it to its original glory. Speaking of William, we were lucky enough to get 15 mins alone with the man himself. For those who don’t follow, let us clarify, he is the godfather of modernism. The man behind the design. The shit.
We discussed how he got into the business and his insanely simple, yet brilliant home designs. The footnotes are simple: all the homes sit on the same size lots (100×100). They all have the same ft² (40×40) layout with a 20×40 swimming pool out back, 2 palm trees, hence the subdivision name, and, our personal favorite, not one piece of building supplies went unused. By building homes with standard cut size building materials they saved green. Oh yeah, this was also in the 1950’s, how are we not using these principles today?
I know what you’re thinking, cookie cutter neighborhood. Wrong. With the combination of some homes turned 90 degrees and 6 different rooflines they created 12 different variations of homes in the area. Brilliant right? The idea was tract houses but with an architectural spin. Loaded with atriums, clerestory windows, buttery fly roof and geometric blocks.

We talked about my own back story and what we do here in Salt Lake as far as the remodeling side of our business. I told him about a few of our projects and some issues we were running into, of course, he responded with great advice.
William got his start with pure motivation and innovation. Fresh out of school he talked his buddy’s father into building homes with his blueprints of ideas. Luckily, for him, his buddy’s father was a huge builder in the area, (Alexander Homes). Alexander decided to grant his son and William 10 lots to try their theory on. Long story short, their 10 homes pre-sold and made more profit than Alexander had made on the entire subdivision. Obviously, for many years after that, Alexander only built these types of modern tract homes, thus the start of the modern movement in Palm Springs. After hearing his story of success I felt uplifted. Too many times I have had people tell me I can’t do something or I will fail, however, this was a simple reminder that if you are passionate enough and don’t give up, you can achieve anything, and that’s exactly what I am trying to do with Muve.