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Ray Kappe: Apotheosis
Home Tour: Sherman Oaks
Saturday, May 26, 2012

Don't miss this rare opportunity to visit five early residences by Ray Kappe, FAIA. Spanning from 1956 to 1966, the Royal Woods and adjacent houses are the stepping-stones that lead to quintessential Kappe. The means are not unfamiliar: post-and-beam construction, an open plan, a reverence for the landscape, attention to detail, an interest in technology.

In the 1976 Los Angeles Times review of the new exhibition, "The Los Angeles 12," architect and principal in Frank Gehry's office, Greg Walsh, characterized the work of fellow dozener Ray Kappe as "the apotheosis of the California wood house."

Kappe has been widely recognized for his work as an educator; first for his work at Cal Poly Pomona, then as the founder of SCI-Arc. Prior to being an educator, however, Kappe was one of many young postwar architects who, upon graduation, turned their talents toward designing and building residences that reflected the optimism of the period and the belief that the modern architecture of Southern California was setting the bar for the country. He was long concerned with low- and moderate-cost housing. Demand for residential design was significant, and before long the young Kappe was flexing his ideas about space and materials for a series of clients of relatively modest means. These are those houses.

The drive-yourself tour includes the Phineas Kappe Residence (1956), the Dr. and Mrs. Robert Hayes Residence (1959), the Barsha Residence (1961, 1974), Handman Residence (1963) and Butnik Residence (1966) along with an 8-page tour brochure explaining the residences and the development. Tour tickets are $45 for SAH/SCC members and $65 for non-members. Ticket holders should also plan to attend the free lecture on the work of Ray Kappe Thursday evening, May 24th, at 7PM at the Santa Monica Public Library.

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