Villa Alejo, a Striking Condominium Complex Behind the Impressive Pipe Brise Soleil Screen
$70 (1 hr) — 9 homes on this tour
Villa Alejo, a 66-unit condominium complex offers a stunning example of midcentury brise soleil, a signature sun control feature of desert modern architecture. The complex sits on the corner of Indian Canyon Drive and Alejo Road, within walking distance of the shops, restaurants, and sights of downtown Palm Springs and the Uptown Design District.
A 57-unit residence apartment and hotel complex when it opened in 1965, Villa Alejo was designed by architect Donal Engen and sits on land owned by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. Villa Alejo offered the first full-size subterranean parking garage in the desert area, which meant a car would be cool when the owner got in, and the first residences fully reachable by elevator. Always desirable as "the” place to live in downtown Palm Springs, the building was refurbished inside and out in 1976 when it was converted to condominiums.
A distinctive script “Villa Alejo” and a medallion with hidden Vs and As sits to the right of the building’s entrance. Impressive cast bronze doors lead to a luxurious lobby with terrazzo floors. Beyond the lobby sits the heart of the nearly three-acre site: a beautiful landscaped, fully enclosed center courtyard, which contains an unusual Y-shaped swimming pool and spa. The studio, one- and two-bedroom units on three floors have stunning panoramic views of the San Jacinto Mountains and the desert valley. Many have patios, terraces, and sweeping views of the courtyard. Some have double-door entries, and most doors have an exquisite brass escutcheon and knob.
But Villa Alejo’s most striking feature is its beautiful staggered concrete pipe brise soleil, providing more than a splash of drama and elegance to the building’s exterior. Throughout the day the brise soleil captures undulating shadows and patterns in the sun. At night, the brise soleil is lit, giving the building a magical air.
Things to Know
There are nine (9) homes on this tour.
This tour is for ages 12 and older.
Parking in lot adjacent to building and along Calle Encilia Road
There are some exterior and/or interior steps.
The organizer of this event is Villa Alejo HOA.
Event Check-in Location
Villa Alejo, 277 E Alejo Road, Palm Springs, CA 92262
Photo Credits: Villa Alejo HOA
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