Desert Dreamers 7: The Architects

PALM SPRINGS LIFE
FEBRUARY 2018

Albert Frey began his career studying Beaux Arts design in Zurich before making a 
radical shift to modernism, working as one of just two full-time employees for 
Le Corbusier in Paris. Most young architects would have been content under the great Le Corbusier’s wing, but an extended visit to New York in 1930 changed Frey’s life. There he formed a partnership with American architect A. Lawrence Kocher; in 1931, the two designed the first all-metal domestic structure, the Aluminaire House. But their most fateful collaboration was the Kocher-Samson Building in Palm Springs (1934). Frey fell in love with the desert; except for brief forays, he never left it again. He developed what would become known as desert modernism, addressing the extreme environment through his unorthodox choice of industrial materials

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