Frey House: Palm Springs House Tour


Nestled into the side of a mountain overlooking the city of Palm Springs, Alberta Frey designed and built a mini masterpiece admired by architects, scholars, designers and modern mavens alike. Drawing inspiration from blooming encilia, cholla cactus and the blue sky above, Frey brings the outdoors in with careful selections and details in areas such as the curtains, counter tops and ceilings. The house was carefully situated based on the location of the sun with a contrasting combination of glass, metal, rock, perforated corrugated aluminum sheets and Philippine mahogany veneer, all designed around a large rock form (which was part of the property) extending into the bedroom as a divider from the living space.

While the home appears simple it is truly complex, reflecting years of Frey’s concepts and realities which he brought to the desert landscape. He lived in Frey House II until his passing in 1998, stating in his will, ” I further request that the house be maintained and made available to students of architecture, as well as other architects, for the study and inspiration in the future. I do not desire that the house be made available to the general public; however it should be available, by arrangement , with persons in the field of architecture and continue to be used as aprivate residence under the auspices of the Desert Museum.”

We enjoyed the last tour of the day, watching the sun set on the mountain and the lights of the city below come alive. A memorable experience indeed.

We visited the Frey House ll tour during Modernism Week.