Darren Bradley

Monotonous developments covered in the same colors are often bemoaned, and for the most part avoided, by architects. But during the 1960s, when rapid building enabled the expansion of suburban areas, William Krisel, a Southern Californian architect, defied the conventional aesthetic of this trend. Such shapes include angled roofs, high windows and stark color schemes that pop against their desert backgrounds. To blur the area between indoor and outdoor, they also feature lots of glass and simple lines, which enabled the builders that commissioned Krisel to efficiently construct them. Models for a typical home the architect built can be found in the Twin Palms tract neighborhood.

"At one point in my practice, of the 10 largest homebuilders in the United States, seven of the 10 were my clients," Krisel told NPR. "And I have had built, from my designs, over 40,000 living units, and that's more than any other architect that I know of."

Listen to NPR's podcast about the houses built all over the West Coast.

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