Nestled in the foothills of the San Jacinto Mountains in Palm Springs lies a midcentury modern architectural gem that has stood largely untouched for over half a century. Built in 1955, the home was designed by renowned Swiss architect Albert Frey, a pioneer of the desert modernism movement who made Palm Springs his home for over 40 years.

Frey embraced the connection between indoor and outdoor space, using walls of glass to blur the lines and create openness. For the first time since its construction, the Frey House II has been listed for sale, offering a rare opportunity to own a piece of architectural history and experience the designer’s original vision.

Bougain Villa in Palm Springs a Piece of Architectural Art

Bougain Villa is situated on approximately 1.35 private acres in the Mesa neighborhood of Palm Springs. The sprawling single-story residence measures roughly 3,000 square feet and incorporates the surrounding boulders and terrain into its design.

Source: Dailymail/Martha Williams

Its minimalist design and pioneering use of industrial materials embody the modernist ethos that shaped Palm Springs in the postwar era. The house has only had two owners, and much of the original midcentury-modern furnishings remain intact for the next buyer.

Architectural History: From Hugh Kaptur to Albert Frey Renovation

The architectural history of this Palm Springs home is as striking as its natural surroundings. Originally designed in 1958 by Hugh Kaptur, one of the Coachella Valley’s most distinguished architects, the structure beautifully integrates large boulders into its framework.

Source: Rick Lesser

According to listing agent Sean Stanfield, “The mountain and the house are blended as one with rocks used as part of the actual structure.” In the mid-1980s, the residence underwent a major renovation under the supervision of Albert Frey, another leading light of Desert Modernism.

Mid Century Modern Architecture Defines This Palm Springs Home

The Mid Century Modern architecture that defines this Palm Springs home has been meticulously preserved. Designed in 1958 by renowned architect Hugh Kaptur and renovated in 1986 by Albert Frey, an influential proponent of Desert Modernism, the house is a prime example of the flat roofs, floor-to-ceiling windows, and seamless integration with the surrounding landscape that characterize the style.

Source: Rick Lesser

In addition to its architectural pedigree, the compound includes amenities highly prized in midcentury Palm Springs homes, such as an expansive pool area, multiple carports, a wine cellar, and a koi pond.

Prime Location

Located in a private gated community with views of downtown Palm Springs, the 1.35-acre property contains a main house of roughly 3,000 square feet as well as a mirrored guest house, wine cellar, pool, hot tub, and three carports.

Source: Rick Lesser

Mature palm trees, water features, and decorative planters collected by the original owner, William Burgess, enhance the desert landscaping.

Previous Occupancy of Bougain Villa

Frey, who helped popularize the mid century modern aesthetic in Palm Springs along with contemporaries like John Lautner and Richard Neutra, dramatically expanded the roughly 1,000-square-foot house to over 3,000 square feet. Frey’s renovations tripled the size of the main house and added a mirrored guest house.

Source: Rick Lesser

For the next two decades, the home remained in the hands of its original owners until 1999, when collectors Harold and Dorothy Meyerman purchased the property for $1 million. The Meyermans preserved Frey’s renovations and made a few changes to the home during their ownership.

In Reach for The Next Owner

Following Harold Meyerman’s death in 2015 and Dorothy Meyerman’s in 2022, the house is being offered for sale for the first time. In addition to its architectural significance and celebrity provenance, the property includes many of the original furnishings and decor items acquired by the Meyermans during their extensive travels.

Source: Rick Lesser

These artifacts, which may be available for separate purchase, include a 7-foot elephant tusk-shaped swing and numerous rugs from Morocco and Turkey that complement the home’s Indoor-Outdoor aesthetic.

Owning a Piece of Historical Desert Modernism

For architecture and design enthusiasts seeking a fully furnished Midcentury Modern retreat, the Meyerman house offers a rare opportunity to own a piece of Desert Modernism history. With a high demand and scarce available properties in Palm Springs’s luxury market, this home is poised to set a new record for architectural homes in the area.

Source: Rick Lesser

For a discerning buyer, the chance to step into a time capsule of 1950s glamour and become the next steward of this Palm Springs gem may be priceless.

History of the Property and Its Notable Architects Hugh Kaptur and Albert Frey

The history of the property at the center of this architectural gem spans over six decades, shaped by the vision of notable Palm Springs architects Hugh Kaptur and Albert Frey.

Source: Rick Lesser

Originally built in 1958, the roughly 3,000-square-foot house was designed by Kaptur for its first owner, William Burgess, an electronics executive who utilized it as a weekend retreat.

Official Commission of Bougain Villa

In the 1980s, Burgess commissioned Frey, the architect behind the adjacent Frey House II, to renovate and expand the home.

Source: Rick Lesser

Frey tripled the size of the original 1,000-square-foot structure, adding a mirrored guesthouse and introducing the flat roofs, floor-to-ceiling windows, and integration of surrounding boulders emblematic of the Desert Modernist style for which he and his contemporaries were known.

Not an Official Landmark but Appreciated by Locals

Though not officially designated as a landmark, the house has been meticulously maintained and retains nearly all of its original midcentury furnishings and decor.

Source: Rick Lesser

These include a 7-foot elephant tusk-shaped cedar swing and numerous rugs from Morocco and Turkey. The wine cellar and artifacts collected by Burgess during his world travel also remain.

Blending Indoor and Outdoor Living Through Floor-to-Ceiling Glass

The home’s floor-to-ceiling glass walls offer unparalleled views and seamlessly blend the indoor and outdoor living spaces. Architect Hugh Kaptur designed the residence to incorporate the surrounding boulders into the structure itself.

Source: Rick Lesser

The glass walls, combined with the home’s position amid the rocky terrain, create the impression that the abode sprouted organically from the landscape.

Views of the Natural Surroundings

The glass walls provide panoramic views of the San Jacinto Mountains and allow the living spaces to be flooded with natural light during the day. At night, the glass walls offer stargazing opportunities as the dark skies above the Coachella Valley become speckled with celestial lights.

Source: Rick Lesser

The glass walls can be opened to allow the mountain breezes to circulate through the rooms. When closed, the glass walls provide insulation and help regulate the indoor temperatures.

A Seamless Transition

The glass walls facilitate a seamless transition between the indoor entertaining areas and the outdoor patio and pool area. When the glass walls are opened, the living room, dining area, and kitchen flow directly onto the patio.

Source: Rick Lesser

This open-concept design is ideal for entertaining and hosting social gatherings. Guests can flow freely between the indoor and outdoor spaces, blurring the line between the two. The glass walls make the patio and pool area feel like an extension of the living spaces.

Prized Mid Century Aesthetic

The floor-to-ceiling glass walls are a hallmark of mid century modern design and were popularized by architects like Richard Neutra, John Lautner, and Albert Frey. The glass walls provide a minimalist, open aesthetic that is quintessential of mid century architecture.

Source: Rick Lesser

Homes like the Kaufmann House and the Stahl House in Los Angeles helped establish the “inside-out” approach to design that incorporated glass walls to blend indoor and outdoor spaces.

Priced at $8.75M, It Won’t Last Long in Palm Springs’ Hot Market

Priced at $8.75M, the Palm Springs home known as Bougain Villa is poised to sell quickly in the city’s competitive luxury real estate market.

Source: Dailymail/Martha Williams

According to listing agents Sean Stanfield and Craig Chorpenning of Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty and Desert Sotheby’s International Realty, respectively, Bougain Villa is a “one-of-a-kind piece of art that just could not be replicated today.”

Furnishings and Decor

According to Wilson, the trustee of the Meyerman estate, the home retains much of its original decor and furnishings. These include a seven-foot cedar swing in the shape of an elephant tusk, numerous Moroccan and Turkish rugs, and large urns and pots that were collected by the first owner, William Burgess.

Source: Rick Lesser

The Meyermans acquired many of these furnishings when they purchased the home from Burgess in 1999 for around $1 million.

Artwork and Artifacts

In addition to the furnishings, the Meyermans collected artworks and artifacts during their travels and displayed them throughout the home. The residence contains artifacts from places such as Morocco, where the couple hosted a benefit for the Palm Springs Modern Committee in 2014.

Source: Rick Lesser

Their passion for global art and culture was also evident in Dorothy’s career at the British Consulate General.

Bougain Villa Lives on

After 65 years of impeccable ownership and care, the iconic Palm Springs home known as the Kaufmann House is seeking a new steward. This architectural wonder designed by Richard Neutra is a mid century modern masterpiece that evokes the spirit of postwar American optimism.

Source: Mansion Global

Its innovative design seamlessly blends indoor and outdoor spaces, creating a tranquil oasis in the California desert that still feels remarkably contemporary today.

For those seeking a peaceful desert retreat that celebrates an indoor-outdoor lifestyle, Bougain Villa’s innovative design and mountain vistas visible through its glass walls offer a perfect combination of natural beauty and mid century modern architecture.