<<< back to article list

If you’re a fan of Mid-Century Modern architecture...

Blog by Robert Matthews | February 12th, 2021

Vancouver has amazing examples of Mid-Century Modern residential architecture, particularly on the slopes of West and North Vancouver. Although some of these historic homes were demolished without a second thought in the past, these days we're seeing a newfound appreciation for these icons of Vancouver's architectural history. The true iconic location for classic MCM architecture however is without a doubt Palm Springs.

Held each year at this time, Palm Springs Modernism Week is a celebratory ode to all things MCM. Home tours, auctions of MCM art and memorabilia, city building and neighbourhood tours, presentations, parties, and more.

Given the current situation, this year the Modernism Week organizers have put together a virtual program to bring modernism to the world. As well as an insider view of some of the city’s iconic houses, Modernism Week 2021 is hosting ticketed film screenings, including documentaries dedicated to the influential modernist  architects Albert Frey, Richard Neutra, and others; an introduction to Desert Modern; even a deep dive into mid-America MCM architecture, particularly in Chicago and environs. Also offered is an architectural driving tour of the city's iconic MCM buildings, structures, and neighbourhoods. A great way to get your MCM and sunshine / palm tree / blue sky fix! 

See the festival's home page for full information, with descriptions and trailers for each of the virtual screenings. The screenings are available until February 28, 2021. /

A must-view in my eyes is the Palm Springs home tour ($45 US, 70 min). Background and a trailer here: https://bit.ly/3qdya4n. Also available for viewing is last year's home tour ($35 US, 70 min); details here: https://bit.ly/3ab8dwz 

Not content with just offering a virtual Modernism week, the organizers have optimistically scheduled a follow-up "live" festival for April 8-18, 2021. Travel for most Canadians to California is probably not likely even at that time; we'll need to be content with the virtual "Online Experience," for this year at least.