Getting ready for Modernism Week in Palm Springs soon? Architecture has a lot of specific terms. Here are some you are likely to encounter while enjoying a drive or a self-guided tour around Palm Springs:
Butterfly roof. With its lowest point in the middle and higher “wings” on either end, this iconic roof is well-known in Palm Springs. Local architect William Krisel usually gets the credit for its creation. However, Krisel admits he was inspired by a design from modernist pioneer Le Corbusier.
Cantilever. Part of a building or a roof that projects out seemingly without any support from below. It gives the illusion that the building or the roof is hovering.
Clerestory (or clear story) windows. Narrow windows set high up on a wall and often right under the roofline.
Colonnade. A structure used to shade open courtyards or used in landscape design. Colonnades are most often characterized by a row of columns supporting a roof.
Folded plate. You’ll see this rare roofline from time to time and will know it by its “W” shape.
Hyperbolic paraboloid. An architectural form that uses straight lines to form a seemingly curved surface that might resemble a saddle or a Pringles potato chip.
Spider leg supports. Support beams, often metal, that project from the inside of a building to the outside and make a right angle to form a support leg. Their narrow, often unclad, nature makes them look spindly, like spider legs.
Looking to dive deeper on some of these architecture terms? Check out our articles on cantilevers and clerestory windows.
To see more of these architecture terms and features in action, don’t miss Atomic Ranch at Modernism Week! Find tickets here to Atomic Ranch: Remodeled Marvels book event here and a house tour with AR and H3K here.
Can’t make it to Palm Springs? No worries! Pre-order a copy of our Palm Springs magazine issue here!