"You take a canvas, divide it up like a checkerboard... and go from there." - Man Ray

Ray Kappe: California Modern Master, Forty Years of Modular Evolution
Ray Kappe: California Modern Master, Forty Years of Modular Evolution
About the film
  • Year
  • Categories
  • Duration 26 minutes
  • Producer Edgar Howard
  • Director Muffie Dunn

Explorations in 21st Century American Architecture Series

Ray Kappe was a cult figure in the architectural scene in and around Los Angeles.

In 1972, he founded the influential, avant garde Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-ARC), where many of the younger-generation architects have studied or taught.

His smoothly rectilinear wood-and-glass houses based on modular principles, modern technology, and a sensitive response to the regional climate, continue to explore the principles of Los Angeles Modernism as originally put forth by the work of Richard Neutra, Rudolph Schindler and others in the early part of the 20th century.

Significantly, the architect, born in 1927, was at the forefront of prefabricated, sustainable design.

The film explores Kappe’s thinking behind his domestic work, beginning with a tour of the iconic hillside house he built for his family in 1967 in Pacific Palisades, and traces the trajectory of his career that led to his two heralded, sustainable, prefabricated houses designed for LivingHomes in 2006-2007.

Founder and CEO of LivingHomes, Steve Glenn, discusses Kappe’s contribution to the creation of the first house in the U.S. with a LEED® platinum rating. Also appearing in the film is architect Thom Mayne, who taught at SCI-ARC in the Kappe years and who places the pioneer’s architectural and educational achievements in context of his influence on L.A. architects.

Principal Funding provided by The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation

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