Modernist architect William Krisel died on Monday at 92, according to multiple news reports. Krisel developed a reputation for designing modernist tract houses in Southern California, many with his partner Dan Saxon Palmer.

"The concept for offering the builder various roof lines—flat, gables, inverted butterfly or whatever—is something that he sort of brought to the table so that they could essentially have very similar floor plans but have homes that looked quite different,” said Chris Menrad, a friend of Krisel and a Palm Springs Modern Committee executive board member, to The Desert Sun. “And that look, as well as that concept, did get adopted."

A house in the Paradise Palms community in Las Vegas.
Kimberly Harvey via Wikimedia Commons A house in the Paradise Palms community in Las Vegas.

Born in 1924, Krisel graduated from the University of Southern California in 1949 and became a licensed architect the following year, according to the Getty Research Institute, which holds Krisel's archives. Krisel's portfolio includes the House of Tomorrow, the Ocotillo Lodge, and the Twin Palm Estates in Palm Springs—and these are only a few of what is estimated to be thousands of projects. The Getty notes on its blog: "By some estimates, he and his partners are responsible for more than 40,000 units of housing in Southern California, bringing the aesthetics and values of casual indoor-outdoor living to the masses."

"Krisel's work had modernist and elegant touches such as brick fireplaces; patterned concrete block walls; post and beam construction; clerestory windows for light; big panes of glass to bring the outdoors closer to the inside—especially in the dramatic, mountain-backed deserts of Palm Springs where homes also had palm trees, air conditioning and swimming pools," notes an Associated Press story in The New York Times.