An Albert Frey desert home design lives again
In Palm Springs, one of the first design projects of noted architect Albert Frey has a new look after a recent renovation.
EXTERIOR AFTER: The result of the nearly $1-million restoration is a chic zen-like retreat wreathed by staggering mountain views. (Ruben Vargas Jr. / RVJ Photography)
EXTERIOR BEFORE: A series of renovation-giddy owners disfigured the home with thick stucco, arched windows and doors, and enough Hollywood Regency decor to out-glam Joan Crawford. During the nearly $1-million renovation, the 1935 home was stripped of its various froufrou, with jackhammers employed to blast off 3-inch-thick stucco the color of “Pepto-Bismol,” said owner Marina Rossi.
DINING ROOM AFTER: The homeowners devised a “Frey test” with a central question that informed each design decision: What would architect Albert Frey do? (Ruben Vargas Jr. / RVJ Photography )
DINING ROOM BEFORE: The homeowners read scores of books and accounts about Swiss-born architect Albert Frey to help inform their design decisions. (Marina Rossi)
DEN AFTER: Spanish tiles were pried from concrete floors covering the 1935 home; the surface was reconditioned and coated with a gloss epoxy sealer to lend a sleek, watery look. (Ruben Vargas Jr. / RVJ Photography)
DEN BEFORE: The new owners had in mind a Moroccan-style rehab for the property but changed their minds when it was confirmed that the home was designed by architect Albert Frey. (Marina Rossi)
KITCHEN AFTER: A brick wall separating the kitchen and dining rooms was painted to mimic a wall in architect Le Corbusier’s Paris atelier. (Ruben Vargas Jr. / RVJ Photography)
KITCHEN BEFORE: A brick wall separating the kitchen and dining rooms was kept for its coveted texture. (Marina Rossi)
EXTERIOR AFTER: Architectural plans for the house that included ample overhangs — a staple of classic midcentury design — were nixed in order to hew to Frey’s intent: spartan boxes dropped onto a desertscape. (Ruben Vargas Jr. / RVJ Photography)
EXTERIOR BEFORE: Albert Frey’s 1935 creation consists of three rectangular boxes sans overhangs, seemingly baking in the desert, yet cooled by cement floors and corrugated metal that helps deflect heat. (Marina Rossi)