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Coachella Valley Savings & Loan #2, Palm Springs
Client: Internal
Release date: January 2016

During a recent trip from Los Angeles to Tucson we stopped over in Palm Springs to have a look at this beautiful and iconic building by Emerson Stewart Williams (1909-2005). The style is reminiscent of Oscar Niemeyer’s futuristic work in Brasilia, although we don’t know if this was a direct influence on Williams work at that time.
Now a branch of Chase Bank, the former Coachella Valley Savings & Loan building had to undergo several additions and alterations since it was built in 1961 – of course not for the better. However, it was good to see that it seems to get recognized as a landmark example of mid-century modernism as there’s a label mounted at the front wall which says:

“In 1961, architect E. Stewart Williams designed this two-story bank building and recieved an award for his creative use of concrete in the dramatic upswept columns. A fine example of modern architecture with its ribbed anodized aluminium facade, flat overhanging roof, and clerestory windows, the structure appears to float on a plinth above the street-level fountain.”
In Palm Springs, the Sinatra residence is the building that Williams is most famous for, but we really can recommend a visit to 499 S. Palm Canyon Drive in Central Palm Springs if you’re on your way on Interstate 10 which is quite close.

Modeled in Cinema 4D, rendered with Vray.

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Tucson Western Savings Bank
Client: Internal
Release date: August 2015

The Western Savings Bank (now Bank of America) on East Broadway Boulevard in Tucson/AZ is an exceptional and unique example of the Mid Century Style in this city. The architect W.A. Sarmiento came up with a plan that took an eye-shaped, curving oval and repeated its pattern along a curved window wall. The effect of the pattern of the exterior, precast concrete curving ellipses form an elegant screen for the window wall behind. Unusual is not only the eyeshape of the building but the floor-to-ceiling glass that provides natural light throughout the day, letting Tucsons spectacular weather highlight the interior textures and materials. The Tucson Modern Architecture Preservation Project, which documented fifty of the top mid-century modern works in the city, states that this building is worthy of preservation and the work of a master architect in W.A. Sarmiento.

Unfortunately some recent modifications and unnecessary extensions have done no good to the ovarall appearance of the original design, so our 3D rendering shows the original building from 1972.

Sarmiento (1922-2013) was a former draftsman for internationally acclaimed architect Oscar Niemeyer and accomplished architect also in his own right. He designed hundreds of banks during the postwar years of bank modernization, the majority of his work apperas as crisp International Style. He is most known as the leading designer of the Phoenix Financial Center, which was built almost at the same time and shows similar shaped rotundas.

Modeled in Cinema 4D, rendered with Vray.

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Tucson City Hall
Client: Internal
Release date: June 2015

The Tucson City Hall was designed by the prominent Tucson architect Bernard J. Friedman (1916 – 2012), a resident in the Arizona metropole for 66 years. “Especially from 1940 to 1970, his expressive architectural projects characterized the downtown Tucson area and the emerging suburbs with a progressive identity. Through structural exuberance, smart proportions, and chic design, his commercial, educational and religious buildings clearly express national and international trends with consciously adapted to the desert climate.

Friedmans bold architectural statements varied between the excitement and elegantly expressions of modernism, and the weight and monumentality of civic design” (via Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation).
Nowadays, not too much is known about the construction of the Tucson City Hall – in the only publication about modern architecture in Tucson it isn’t even mentioned. We are currently trying to get some more background information about this building and will keep this page updated.

Modeled in Cinema 4D, rendered with Vray.