During Modernism Week in February, a tour of the Frey House II is offered through the Palm Springs Art Museum. Highly recommended for the architecture aficionado in you!
(From the Palm Springs Art Museum website)
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 site and a year to measure the movement of the sun using a 10-foot pole. It was the second Palm Springs house that Albert Frey designed for himself and it has become a hillside landmark. Perched part way up the San Jacinto mountain, the house looks across the expanse of the Coachella Valley. It was designed to have as little impact on the surrounding environment. Measuring only 800 square feet, the house is compact but very functional. A concrete block podium forms the base for the simple steel structure house. It has a steel-frame with large spans of glass and sheathing in painted corrugated metal.
A platform, parallel to the road, projects in front of the house and acts as a deck for the pool and as a roof for the carport below. The design included a flat corrugated-aluminum roof, overhangs to block the summer sun and sliding glass doors that open the interior to the exterior. The house has many walls of glass, which showcase the astounding views. The swimming pool and small deck function as the roof of the carport.
The upper level features a dining/work table and the bathroom, while the lower level includes a sitting area, master bedroom and kitchen. Albert Frey added an additional guest bedroom (measuring 300 square feet) in 1967. Being keenly conscious of nature, Albert Frey choose the color of his curtains to match the yellow Encilla flowers that bloom each spring in the desert. He also painted the ceiling blue.
One of the most famous elements of the property is the incorporation of a large boulder into the design. It protrudes into the house and acts as a divider between the bedroom and living room. By incorporating the boulder in to the design, Albert Frey acknowledged our role with nature.