The desert modernist In 1930, when Albert Frey (1903-1998) came to the US from his native Switzerland, he brought the influence of his mentor, Le Corbusier, with him. The innovative Aluminaire House that he developed together with A. L. Kocher was exhibited in 1932 by Henry-Russell Hitchcock and Philip Johnson in the legendary show in the Museum of Modern Art in New York “The International Style: Architecture since 1922” as one of the very few American examples of the movement. Soon after, Frey discovered the California desert, where he would settle and complete his most substantial works. Throughout his life, Frey was interested in finding new ways of building, as well as working with and doing research on prefabricated materials, the results of which he regularly published. With visionary talent, Frey built elegant, clearly structured residential houses and was the founder of the “desert modernism” style. The author: Gloria Koenig is an architectural historian and author. She has published and lectured widely on a variety of topics in contemporary architecture, and served as consultant with filmmakers on a documentary about her late husband, modernist architect Pierre Koenig.