Albert Frey House II, Palm Springs, California

Albert Frey House II, Palm Springs, California

The Albert Frey House 2 is located in Palm Springs, California. Frey built the unique architectural design in 1964 and lived there until his death in 1998. Frey spent several years measuring the movement of the sun and the contours of the rocks before he selected the building site for his Modernist home design, constructed of a simple steel frame with a roof that follows the gradual slope of the mountain. The enormous boulder juts into the tiny house, forming a partial wall. There is a bedroom light switch that is set into the rock itself. All of the house’s furniture, including the record player, is built-into the house.

Albert Frey (1903-1998) is one of the most important modern architects of the last 100 years, who lived and worked in Palm Springs since 1934. Frey had a long and prolific career, producing more than 200 building architectural designs, to include notable local landmarks such as the Palm Springs City Hall and the Aerial Tramway Valley Station with John Porter Clark. Frey House II is his long-time residence, perched on the hillside at the west end of the Tahquitz Canyon Way. Frey House II is Frey's second home in Palm Springs and was completed in 1964.

When designing the unique and modern home design Frey carefully surveyed the contours and all of the rock. He put some strings to see how the home design would work out. He then established the levels and had to fit the glass to the rock. The slope of the roof follows the same slope of the terrain, with the contrast between the natural rock and the high tech building materials being exciting.

At the time the home was built, the design was at the highest elevation of any residence in the city. Frey took five years to select the building site and a year to measure the exact movement of the sun using a 10-foot pole. After Frey reviewed his plans, Palm Springs City Hall called the architectural design crazy but gave its approval. The home design was the second Palm Springs house that Frey designed for himself and the home has become a hillside landmark. The beautiful modern home design is perched partway up the San Jacinto mountain, with the house looking across the expanse of the Coachella Valley.

Albert Frey House II was designed to have as little impact on the surrounding environment as possible. The unique home design is only 800 square feet, with the house being very compact yet functional. There is a concrete block podium that forms the base for the simple steel structure home design. The tiny house has a steel-frame with large spans of glass and sheathing in painted corrugated metal.

There is a platform that is parallel to the road, that projects in front of the house and acts as a deck for the pool and as a roof for the carport below. The architectural design included a flat corrugated-aluminum roof, with overhangs to block the hot summer sun and sliding glass doors that open the interior of the house to the exterior. The tiny house has many walls of glass, which showcase the beautiful natural views. The swimming pool and the small deck function as the roof of the carport.

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