Albert Frey and A. Lawrence Kocher’s historic Aluminaire House has been donated by the Aluminaire House Foundation to the Palm Springs Art Museum. Assuming the City of Palm Springs approves, the museum aims to begin reassembling the house in early 2021.
Modernist architects Frey and Kocher designed the Aluminaire House in 1931 as a prototype residence. It was originally exhibited the same year in New York City as part of a show held by the Allied Arts and Industries and the Architectural League of New York. The house was meant to be a mass-producible, affordable home of the future, made mostly using metal and glass.
After the house’s initial exhibition, it moved to Long Island for several decades, eventually landing on a New York Institute of Technology campus. It stayed there until 2011 when the campus closed, and since then, the house’s future has been uncertain.
In 2017, the house was disassembled and shipped to Palm Springs, where it has since been in storage.
Frey had a long history with Palm Springs. He built many postwar homes in the Southern Californian desert city, and his firm co-designed the original Palm Springs Desert Museum. He lived in the city until his death in 1998, and he donated the house that he designed for himself along with his archive to the Palm Springs Art Museum.