Albert Frey is often described as one of the founding architects of Palm Springs, California, and indeed it would be hard to imagine the desert city without the numerous masterpieces he designed there over his long, productive career. His more dramatic structures, including the angular Tramway Gas Station, have become modernist icons, but I have long been enchanted by the more modest 800-square-foot residence he built for himself atop Mount San Jacinto.
Constructed of cinder blocks, steel, aluminum, and glass, Frey House II is a deceptively simple building positioned so naturally in its surroundings that it can be hard to spot from a distance. Before he began construction, Frey studied the angle of sun throughout the seasons in order to site the home. The results are unparalleled views and a unique connection to the environment.