Oct 30, 2016

Albert Frey's Week-end House

  • Rosa, Joseph. 1990. Albert Frey, architect. P. 60-61 New York, NY: Rizzoli International.

  • "In 1934, the Kocher Canvas Week-end House was constructed for Frey’s parthner, Kocher. This house is similar in design, but not in detail, to the Experimental Week-end House. Built in North Port, New York, about a mile from the shore, the house had
  • three levels. Only the middle level was enclosed and access to it and to the roof deck was by an exterior circular stair. The deck was used for sunbathing and outdoor sleeping. The second floor contained all the public and private spaces in one common area. A curtain track was mounted on the ceiling and, at night, drapes from the windows were pulled into the center of the house dividing the living room into bedrooms.
  • The Kocher Canvas Week-end House was supported by six steel columns that carried wood-framed floors and walls insulated with aluminum foil. Diagonal redwood sheathing was coated with white lead paint immediately prior to the application of the marine-treated canvas to bond it to the wood. The canvas was applied horizontally, starting at the bottom of the wall, and was overlapped and nailed every 6 inches with copper-headed nails. It was then painted with three coats of oil-based paint prior to the finish coat. The interior walls and ceiling were veneered plywood with a canvas floor. The entire assembly required painting every three years.
  • Aesthetically, the Canvas Week-end House is a totally non-representational object – the only thing that defines it as a house is its scale. It was constructed inexpensively, as the canvas was donated by the Cotton-Textile Institute to test its ability to be used as an exterior sheathing material. It should be noted that marine treated canvas was being used at the time as a roofing material for flat roofs and decks and, in the first edition of Architectural Graphic Standards, published in 1932, there were standard canvas roofing details guaranteed for five years. No one, before Frey, had taken this technology and incorporated it into the wrapping of an entire building exterior. The house withstood a hurricane in 1938 (although the trees around the house did not), only to be demolished by a developer in the late 1950’s.”

    • Rosa, Joseph. 1990. Albert Frey, architect. P.34 - 35 New York, NY: Rizzoli International.

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