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Albert Frey: The Cree House

Albert Frey - Cree House

Existing silently in the thick of Palm Springs’ rocky hillsides under private ownership since the 1970s, The Cree House was nicknamed “The Forgotten Frey”. Withdrawn from the public for years on end, midcentury lovers were in for a special treat when the stunning home was finally exposed during 2019’s Palm Springs Modernism Week.

The Cree House was designed by prolific Swiss-born architect Albert Frey for former school superintendent, turned real estate developer, Raymond Cree in 1955. Supported by thin steel columns, the 1,124 square foot home accommodates one bedroom, one and a half baths and its most prominent feature, when looking from the outside, is its massive 600 square foot bright yellow deck.

Recently, the iconic home underwent a thorough renovation, rebuilding the residence to its original state. The renovation included the restoring of everything from the home’s exterior as well as interior wall panels, deck pieces to the kitchen appliances, to name a few.

Albert Frey - Cree House -
Albert Frey - Cree House -
Albert Frey - Cree House -
Albert Frey - Cree House -

The deck is contained by fluted fiberglass panels of blazing yellow, making the home easy to spot from down below. Conversely to the bright wrapping around the deck, the homes exterior made of encelia green asbestos cement sheets was especially chosen to seamlessly blend mimic the desert flowers of the same color. 

Native rock from the area makes up much of the base surrounding the home in addition to the fireplace, bringing the outdoors inside. Another outdoor area for relaxing is made entirely of the native rock. From this stone patio, sliding glass doors enable indoor to outdoor flow while views of the seemingly untouched landscape open to the sides.

Inside, the color palette mirrors that of the outside; native rock taken from the surroundings, wooden and other earthy tones form a smooth transition between inside and out. Floor to ceiling windows in the living room and kitchen area overlook beautiful views.

Albert Frey - Cree House -
Albert Frey - Cree House -

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Albert Frey - Cree House -
Albert Frey - Cree House -

The interior decor has been carefully selected to give the home a character which seamlessly blends in with its surroundings. The kitchen’s copper-colored refrigerator/freezer in not only in tune with the hanging cabinets of the kitchen, but also synchronizes with tones in the bedroom as well as shades found in the surrounding landscape. 

For its displaying during Modernism Week, Nicholas Lawrence Interior Design together with Knoll Furniture teamed up for most the furnishing, sided with other selected vintage pieces. 

The Cree House recently hit the market at $2.5 million. 

Albert Frey - Cree House -
Photo Lance Gerber