Modern Design at Coachella
By Aaron Britt / Published by Dwell
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Revelers and music fans have made it through the first weekend of the massive music festival Coachella in Indio, California, and those who sought a little shade from the scorching sun likely came across Mirage, an art installation and homage to the desert modernism of nearby Palm Springs. Coachella art director Paul Clemente envisioned the 6,000-square-foot structure and it was erected by Vermont-based builder Russ Bennett. Meant to be a kind of hang-out zone, the geometric piece was inspired by the work of architects like Neutra and Frey and will be taken down after this weekend's culmination of the festival.

“A lot of kids might not be familiar with mid-century modernism,” says Clemente of the music festival's attendees, “but I think subconsciously it will make sense to them.” Clemente modeled the design of the installation on Neutra's Kaufmann House.

“A lot of kids might not be familiar with mid-century modernism,” says Clemente of the music festival's attendees, “but I think subconsciously it will make sense to them.” Clemente modeled the design of the installation on Neutra's Kaufmann House.

“Everything about the Polo Field [home of the concerts], the white tents, it fits with the clean lines of Palm Springs architecture,” Clemente reasons. “Also, in the modern aesthetic, you can be inside and still feel like you’re in nature. And if one-in-1,000 people look at it and recognize Palm Springs Modernism, then as far as I’m concerned, it’s a success.”

A series of open white planes, the "house" is an abstraction of an abstraction, a contemporary take on mid-century desert modernism.

At night, a series of projections and lights will alter the form of the struture, which Clemente imagined as a kind of house. Click around dwell.com for more of our coverage of Palm Springs modernism and the buildings that inspired Coachella's newest design.

Here's the structure with one of the light projections giving the facade a whole different character.

Here's the structure with one of the light projections giving the facade a whole different character.

Aaron Britt

@aaronbritt

Aaron writes the men's style column "The Pocket Square" for the San Francisco Chronicle and has written for the New York Times, the Times Magazine, Newsweek, National Geographic and others.

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