Ray Kappes’s home residence

As the wife of Ray Kappe, Shelly, once said when the house was built, “it was so ahead of its time”, which phrase explains why the architect, born in 1927, is still at the forefront of sustainable design today.  “It was an encapsulation of Ray’s vision for the house to be a synthesis of the rational and the intuitive”, she continues.

The above described residence completely blew us away with its remarkably contemporary structure and even though we’ve seen many good buildings, I think it’s fair to say that there are a few that had a profoundly emotional impact on us. Out of all the fancy houses we’ve reviewed, this is the most comfortable – architecturally and the one we most wish to live in.

The humble Ray Kappe has long been a cult figure in the architectural scene. In 1972, he founded the influential, avant-garde Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-ARC). The famous Los Angeles architect, designed this multilevel home for his family in 1965 and then built it in a canyon in Pacific Palisades. Using breathtaking photography and a smattering of carefully chosen structure, this dwelling tells the story of how he gained his seemingly thriving architectural sense.

Southern California’s best houses of all time, the 1967 Kappe residence holds No. 8, and has been characterized as ‘the apotheosis of the California House’, ranked among classics by Frank Lloyd Wright, and Charles and Ray Eames. Countering the ten most important principles that helped make him a successful architect, planner, and educator, Kappe shared the following two: “Always be willing to explore, experiment and invent. Do not accept the status quo.”

His residence is indeed evince of his mastery, a warm modern space, which is clearly environmentally sensible. Allocated over seven levels and devoted to six concrete towers in a 4,000 square feet, built on a mere 600 square feet of land, the household was the result of a water problem, but was to prove the family´s life change. Each room, within the different levels floating within the house, is lit very well and offers spacious views throughout the interior i.e. colorful fabrics, and furnishings; such as Ray Kappe’s office and the upper family room.

The whole house is built out of concrete and wood. Taken its edges (vertical planes of glass, wood, and concrete), the most fascinating views of the lush hillsides, and the major feeling of expansiveness, even without using your imagination this home really is flawless. Yet a closer look denotes that, wherever the wood timbers meet with the glass panes and concrete is where the actual magic happens. The juxtaposition of the blocky human elements lunge directly into the natural leafy sunshade of all those trees. The transparency, the translucency, the shades, the whole way the building blends, perfectly, with the surrounding environment is a proof of exquisite architectural poetry.

Overall, it has a truthful, exposed nudity appeal to it and the ability to reverse the relationship between indoors and outdoors, thus achieving privacy. For Ray, “When I had finished my house, I felt I had combined the best of rational and intuitive design.” In every way, he has captured the heart, the feelings, the soul of the living organism of a home and made us no longer wonder what is the lifestyle of the Real rich and famous.

WordsMaria Passarivaki



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