Palm Springs is best known for being the capital of West Coast Mid-Century Modernism and this is why also this year we’ll go out to the desert to visit, enjoy and learn about this great period. Coming over from Europe makes it even more exciting as there is no comparable location or event there.
During the last Modernism Weeks we’ve also learned a lot about Australian Modernism (Harry Seidler will be featured this year) and about Modernism on the East Coast but frankly we’ve never heard about the
The Albert Frey and A. Lawrence Kocher-designed 1931 house will arrive in Palm Springs on February 14 and will be celebrated at a media event outside the Palm Springs Visitor’s Center, also designed by Frey. City officials and Aluminaire House Foundation board members will make short remarks about the importance of this building and discuss its new location, in the future park that will be located across from the Palm Springs Art Museum. When the house is reassembled, it will be open to the public for tours. This will be the only architecturally significant house in the Coachella Valley that will open to the public on a regular basis.
Want to know something more about the house?
In 1931 the Allied Arts and Industries and the Architectural League of New York unveiled The Aluminaire, a prefabricated aluminum and steel home intended to be mass-produced and affordable, using inexpensive, off-the-shelf materials. It was designed by A. Lawrence Kocher, the managing editor of Architectural Record, and Albert Frey, a 28-year-old Swiss architect. After being featured in the first exhibition on architecture in 1932 at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the building was purchased by an architect and moved to his New York country estate, where it was relocated several times and eventfully became at risk of demolition in the late 1980s. A concerned group of preservationists saved it and donated it to the New York Institute of Technology on Long Island. When that campus closed in 2004, the house was again dismantled and put into storage and languished in a shipping container in New York. It will soon arrive in Palm Springs, CA and be permanently erected in late 2017 in a newly designed park in the refurbished downtown development and will be a year-round attraction that pays homage to Palm Spring’s thriving architectural tourism focus.