Featured Architect: Narendra Patel, Patel Architecture, Inc.

Narendra Patel is an architect who was born in the Indian province of Gujarat, did his post-grad in Canada — he had received his Bachelor of Arts and Master's Degree in Architecture from the University of Toronto - and made his name in Rancho Mirage, California.

Patel designs — whether custom homes, commercial buildings, government buildings, whatever - weave together classical geometry and undulating forms that call to mind sand dunes or ocean waves. Only a person who is channeling an enormous amount of spiritual power can place proportions of this beauty into form.

One irony may be that Patel is a leading light in the high-end home market — a class of custom mansions beyond the financial reach of the mass market. Still, Patel is a “green” pioneer in the luxury category in terms of building concepts and construction principles. As stated in the Robb Report: "Natural materials are celebrated and integrated into the design, rather than dug out and cast off the jobsite. In a reverent nod to early modernists . . . the houses are built around boulders that occur naturally in the landscape. The homes are low-slung, with sweeping wood ceilings dappled with soffit lighting resembling a starry night sky..."

In 1985, he founded Patel Architecture, Inc., in Rancho Mirage. Some of Patel’s best-known local designs include Henderson Community Center; the Palm Desert Chamber of Commerce building; numerous custom homes at Bighorn Golf Club in Palm Desert; and the residential community Alta, in Palm Springs. He’s currently working on five-star hotels in La Quinta and Cathedral City. Elsewhere, he recently completed a large award-winning residential community in Chengdu, China.

Even with projects abroad, he still prefers to come home to greater Palm Springs. “I had several job offers from many places after my graduation, but I chose Palm Springs, because I was fascinated with modernism,” he says. “I worked for Architect Donald Wexler for many years before I started my own practice.

“I love this desert,” says Patel. “This is my home. This is where I want to live and work, no matter where the projects are.”

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