Soon after Frey arrived from Paris, where he had worked for Le Corbusier, the firm of A. Lawrence Kocher enlisted Frey to help design a house for the biennial Allied Arts and Industries/Architectural League of New York expo in 1931.
Dubbed the Aluminaire House, the boxy three-story structure was erected in 10 days with ready-made materials. Its aluminum-panel exterior and its sleek interiors were a hit with visitors and critics.
Almost 90 years later — a meandering history that nearly included demolition — the Aluminaire now sits in a container in Palm Springs, to be rebuilt in a city park being designed by Rios Clementi Hale Studios.
A full-size representation of the house — scaffolding covered with a printed scrim — sits on the site this month for Modernism Week, which runs Thursday through Feb. 25. A scale model of Aluminaire will be on view at Modernism headquarters, part of the campaign to raise the $475,000 still needed to erect the house and restore it.