Homes Editor: Petra Arko
Albert Frey, a Swiss born Architect and former Le Corbusier protege and work colleague of Charlotte Perriand is best known for his timeless modernist architecture mostly build in the Palm Springs in Coachella Valley.
When he arrived to Palm Springs in 1934 he ‘fell in love with the area’ and later he set up a practice with a fellow architect and John Porter Clark, who was already prolific in the area.
Frey House II is one of his most well known residential examples of the Dessert Modernism. It is build into the desert rock mountain with a view of Palm Springs. This simple metal and glass structure sits on its land with little impact to the environment.
“I had a very careful survey made showing the contours and all the rock. Then I put up some strings to see how the design would work out. We then established the levels, and then I had to fit the glass to the rock. The slope of the roof follows the slope of the terrain, the contrast between the natural rock and the high tech materials is rather exciting.”
At the time it was built, it was at the highest elevation of any residence in the city. Frey took five years to select the sight and a year to measure the movement of the sun using a 10-foot pole.
After reviewing his plans, Palm Springs City Hall called the design "crazy" but finally give its approval.
It has now become a hillside landmark.
Palm Springs Museum