7.Le Corbusier Architecture in Souhern California

We all know that in architecture, few things are truly original. Architects take inspiration from all around them, often taking ideas from the designs of others to reinterpret them in their own work. However, it’s more rare that a single architectural element can be borrowed to define the style of an entire region. Los Angeles Homes went to Le Corbusier’s the Iconic Butterfly Roof Home uncovering a forgotten midcentury architectural gem in the California real estate world.

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We all know that in architecture, few things are truly original. Architects take inspiration from all around them, often taking ideas from the designs of others to reinterpret them in their own work. However, it’s more rare that a single architectural element can be borrowed to define the style of an entire region. As uncovered in this article, originally published

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Most of the United States rooftops turn the majority of the houses into a tradicional silhouette. Two panels meet in the middle of the roofline and slope upward and outward, like butterfly wings in mid-flap. This “butterfly roof” is a distinct feature of post-war American residential and commercial architecture. And for example, in Hawaii, Southern California, this rooftops made a way for high windows that let in natural light.

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William Krisel receives the credits for these butterfly roof design. He began building single-family homes, with butterfly rooflines, for the Alexander Construction Company, a father-son development team, in Palm Springs, , in 1957.

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The Alexander Construction Company, mostly using Krisel’s designs, built over 2,500 tract homes in the desert. These homes, and their roofs, shaped the desert community, and soon other architects and developers began building them too. More than 30,000 homes were built in the Southland from San Diego to the San Fernando Valley.

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But Krisel’s story is not actually true, twenty-eight years before Krisel designed tract homes for the Alexander Construction Company in Palm Springs, Swiss-French architect and Modernist pioneer Le Corbusier first came up with the soaring architectural feature.

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Le Corbusier was always ahead of his time, particularly so in 1930, when he designed the very butterfly roof for which Krisel would later get much of the credit.

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