first look at palm springs' completed aluminaire house™ prototype, shot by paul clemence

first look at palm springs' completed aluminaire house™ prototype, shot by paul clemence

aluminaire house™ prototype completes in palm springs

 

Architectural photographer Paul Clemence gives us a sneak peek at the completed Aluminaire House™ prototype in Palm Springs. The full-scale structure, built close to the parking lot of the Palm Springs Art Museum in California, is the brainshild of architects Albert Frey and A. Lawrence Kocher. Named after its aluminum components, the project was initially conceived in 1931 as an experiment to explore new industrial materials and Modern design in creating low-cost housing. It represents Frey’s utopian belief that the power of U.S. industry could be used to create affordable housing for everyone. The finalized prototype is revealed jointly with a special exhibition launched by the museum on January 13, 2024. Titled Albert Frey: Inventive Modernist, the show opened on January 13, 2024, at the Architecture and Design Center, Edwards Harris Pavilion. Read our previous coverage of the news here

first look at palm springs' completed aluminaire house™ prototype, shot by paul clemence
all images © Paul Clemence

 

 

an iconic modernist model from the 1930s

 

Initially shown in 1931 as part of the Architectural League of New York’s annual Exposition of Architectural and Allied Arts, the Aluminaire House™ was one of the first examples of Modern architectural design in the United States and the country’s first all-metal house. The structure was built as a collaboration between Swiss-American architect Albert Frey and architect and editor A. Lawrence Kocher, each deeply inspired by European Modernism as exemplified by Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe. The house notably used all factory-made prefabricated materials sourced from distributors across the Eastern United States, such as sheet metal, plate glass, steel beams, and linoleum, to provide a case study of building modern mass-produced, affordable housing.

first look at palm springs' completed aluminaire house™ prototype, shot by paul clemence
Aluminaire House™ prototype completes at the Palm Springs Art Museum

 

 

paul clemence’s photographic outlook

 

Reflecting on the Aluminaire House™ installation at the Palm Springs Art MuseumPaul Clemence (see more here) tells designboom: ‘I didn’t realize that Frey worked with Le Corbusier when he was designing Villa Savoye. You can see the modern master’s influence on the use of ribbon windows and on how the house is so open to outside. The contrast between the house’s metal panels and the surrounding nature is quite striking. The way the panels absorb and reflect that beautiful Palm Springs light; the industrial feel of the materials next to the breezy palm trees. Very engaging design, and still cutting edge after all these years!’

first look at palm springs' completed aluminaire house™ prototype, shot by paul clemence
using metal panels to build the structure

first look at palm springs' completed aluminaire house™ prototype, shot by paul clemence
the structure is the branchild of architects Albert Frey and A. Lawrence Kocher

first look at palm springs' completed aluminaire house™ prototype, shot by paul clemence
Aluminaire House™ prototype is launched in parallel with a special exhibiton at the museum

first look at palm springs' completed aluminaire house™ prototype, shot by paul clemence
creating reflective facades

first look at palm springs' completed aluminaire house™ prototype, shot by paul clemence
creating a strong industrial feel amid the nature of Palm Springs

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