Los Angeles architect Ray Kappe is one
of Southern California's preeminent designers of modern residential architecture and a
long-time educator who founded the influential Southern California Institute of Architecture
(SCI-Arc). Consisting of drawings, documents, photographs, client correspondence, and
writings, the Ray Kappe papers provide a record of Kappe's contribution as an architect in
private practice, as a partner in various firms and as an educator. The archive is an
important resource for the study of postwar California modernism, and in particular the
development of prefabrication and sustainability in modern housing, as well as a valuable
resource for studying the recent history of architectural education.
The son of Romanian immigrants, Raymond Kappe was born on August 4, 1927 in Minneapolis.
After his family relocated to Los Angeles, Kappe attended Emerson Junior High School in West
Los Angeles, which had been designed by Richard Neutra in the late 1930s. The two-story
steel-framed building with sliding glass doors for outdoor classrooms and rooftop terraces
made a valuable impression on him, as did Neutra's apartments in Westwood. These early
experiences with modern architecture, combined with his love of drawing and talent in
mathematics and science, helped shape his career path while he was still a teenager. He
spent a single semester at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1945 before
he was drafted into the postwar U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, where he served for two years
as a topographical surveying instructor. After his discharge, Kappe attended the University
of California, Berkeley, earning his B.Arch in 1951.
374.3 Linear Feet
(105 boxes, 372 flatfiles, 28 rolls)
Contact Library Reproductions and
Open for use by qualified researchers, with the exception of the student records in Box 56A
which will remain sealed until 2062. Contact the repository for information regarding access
to the architectural models.