The William Burgess House stands as a masterpiece of architectural brilliance in the heart of Palm Springs, a city synonymous with Mid-Century Modern architecture and a haven for design enthusiasts. Also known as Bougain Villa, the stunning residence has made its debut in the market for the first time since its construction.

Commissioned in 1957 by William and Clara Burgess, mid-century architect Hugh Kaptur created a luxurious modern villa offering breathtaking views of its surroundings. The original owner commissioned architect Albert Frey to renovate the villa in the 1980s. During the renovation process, Frey expanded the square footage of the villa and added a mirrored guest house, seamlessly blending the old with the new.

Photo: Kim Hayden Holt

Nestled at the base of the San Jacinto Mountains, the residence is an aspirational work of art. With an asking price of $8.85 million, the storied residence beckons a new steward to continue its legacy of style and design.

Photo: Ricky Lesser

Modernist Palm Springs Hillside Estate

Bougain Villa takes full advantage of its rocky landscape on an approximately 1.3-acre plot within a gated community. The modernist design and open living spaces create a sleek and inviting atmosphere unlike any other in Palm Springs. It’s not just a home but also a statement of style and sophistication.

Photo: Ricky Lesser

Kaptur designed the home with the perfect blend of indoor and outdoor living, fusing nature with architecture. The textural hillside and the house are harmoniously connected, with rocks used as part of the interior structure.

Photo: Ricky Lesser

The unique home boasts 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, with floor-to-ceiling windows allowing natural light to flood in, making every room feel spacious and airy. The boulder walls add an interesting texture to the interior while also serving as a reminder of the surrounding landscape. Additionally, there is a wine cellar, pool, hot tub, and a unique sun-shade-covered carport for three cars.

Photo: Ricky Lesser

In 1999, the residence, which was not on the market, was sold to Harold and Dorothy Meyerman for a reported one million dollars. The couple resided at Bougain Villa full-time until their passing in 2015 and 2022, respectively. The sprawling estate offers ample space for entertaining guests or simply enjoying the stunning desert scenery in solitude.

Photo: Ricky Lesser

The Architects – Hugh Kaptur and Albert Frey

Hugh Kaptur, a renowned American architect, was also an influential figure in mid-century modern architecture in Palm Springs. His work can be seen all over the desert city, including iconic buildings such as the Palm Springs City Hall and the Welwood Murray Memorial Library.

Kaptur’s distinct style focused on blending indoor and outdoor living seamlessly, much like Frey’s design of Bougain Villa. He was also known for using natural elements in his constructions, such as rock formations and desert plants, to create a harmonious connection with the surrounding landscape.

Photo: Ricky Lesser

Bougain Villa was renovated in 1986 by Swiss-born architect Albert Frey, who trained under Le Corbusier and was known for his modernist style and innovative use of materials. Frey worked alongside renowned architects John Lautner and Richard Neutra, building his own house, Frey House II, on the same hillside as the Burgess residence. Frey’s first home, the architecturally significant Aluminaire House has been gifted to the Palm Springs Art Museum as part of their permanent collection and is being reconstructed in their south parking lot. Frey and Kaptur played a significant role in shaping Palm Springs’ architectural identity. Their work inspires and influences modern architects, making their legacy immortal in this beautiful desert city.

Photo: Julius Shulman

Captured perfectly in 1958 by iconic mid-century modern photographer Julius Shulman, this shot of the extraordinary residence represents an aspirational way of living and begs one to sit back and enjoy the views of the Coachella Valley below.

More than just a luxurious residence, The Burgess House – Bougain Villa presents an incredible opportunity to own a piece of Palm Springs’ Mid-Century Modern history. Listed by Sean Stanfield of Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty and Craig Chorpenning of Desert Sotheby’s International Realty.

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