On March 8, 2012, Ray Kappe, FAIA, presented an inspiring summary of his life work in Los Altos, CA. Speaking to a packed Hillview Community Center,he detailed his fascination with a building systems approach to architecture with seminal design ideas from 50 years ago coming to fruition in the LivingHomes prefabricated homes in Los Angeles and Los Altos. He called himself a pragmatist and an empiricist but many in the audience felt that he was a visionary well ahead of his time in terms of social, environmental, energy efficient and sustainable design concerns.
Breaking his career into ten-year increments he described his bridge houses that touched lightly on the landscape, his prefabricated schemes in both metal and wood and his solar-oriented houses.
Using examples from his large portfolio of built projects and prototype energy-use explorations, he explained the theme and variation of his rigorous design approach that resulted in poetic expressions of exposed structure, glass transparency, ever changing light and shadow play, visually stimulating reflections and exciting interior spaces.