He may not be a household name, but if you’ve ever spent time in the Coachella Valley you’ll likely have seen (or stepped foot in) an array of utilitarian sculptures designed by architect Chris Pardo.
Pardo’s firm is one of the more prominent voices in the design renaissance of Palm Springs. With that, he has designed critically acclaimed homes, restaurants and hotels all over the world. Four years ago he moved to Palm Springs and in that time he has built local landmarks from go-to downtown coffee spot Ernest Coffee and the cocktail bar Bootlegger Tiki to The Draughtsman, a pub in an old Pizza Hut building serving fine foods and craft beer. For Goldenvoice, the creator and operator of Coachella, Pardo also designed bathrooms that are set up permanently on the festival grounds.
“The beauty of Palm Springs is that it’s not just mid-century, even though that’s my favorite,” Pardo recently told the The Desert Sun. “It’s Spanish style, it’s mid-century, it’s some Googie architecture. It’s fascinating learning about that. I feel kind of like an archaeologist.”
Pardo’s designs are best described as being simply modern. His Palm Springs portfolio is notable for its use of concrete block, Stucco and a thin steel roof line. “I just love to create, it excites me and is my life. No matter what I am physically doing, I am thinking about how I can improve the look or flow of things,” he says.
His interdisciplinary practice, which involves rigorous design and research, yields innovative, iconic buildings and dynamic urban environments. Recently, he was named in the Worldwide Architecture: The Next Generation as one of the top architects under 40 in the World.
Undoubtably, Chris Pardo’s presence in Palm Springs is one to watch. Expect to see an array of new and very exciting projects popping up in the near future. “I cannot hide my excitement for the future of Palm Springs. The next 5-10 years will usher in a refinement of what has been building over the last ten years,” Pardo exclaimed in a recent interview.
- Lead photography by James Schnepf