Kappe's Palm Springs retreat
One of Kappe's final works, nestled in the hills of Palm Springs' newest desert community
Welcome to the inaugural issue of Clean Lines! I’m excited to share the first home with you — one I had the pleasure of being among the first people to tour during Modernism Week in Palm Springs.
This house is one of the last homes designed by, Ray Kappe, a world-renowned architect, and founder of one of the premier architecture schools, the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc).
It’s part of the brand new Desert Palisades community, a new development in Palm Springs committed to midcentury modern design with some of the last lots overlooking Coachella Valley. Even its guardhouse has won design awards.
What I love immediately about this home is how its terraced design creates an immersive, intimate desert mountain experience as the house scales alongside the terrain.
The rusted steel, concrete, and glass blend perfectly into the desert environment, nearly disappearing during sunset. It’s as contemporary as it midcentury.
It includes ample outdoor space with easy access from most of the house. And if you’ve been paying any attention at all to real estate over the past few years, you know bringing the outside in is so hot right now 🥵
The interior is as remarkable as the exterior. Beautiful wood cabinetry and polished concrete floors create a warm, welcoming environment you sometimes miss with contemporary architecture.
What I find interesting about the interior is that the outside terraces are incorporated inside too. This creates consistency throughout the home, and is another step towards dissolving the barrier between the outside and inside. It also reflects Kappe’s signature style mirrored in his personal residence and other homes.
The kitchen is smaller than you might expect in a home of this caliber, though as beautiful as everything else. I love the natural light created from the top windows, and how the fridge disappears into the cabinetry, creating a minimal, refined feel.
From the inside, you get a good idea of the intentional solar design principles — a Kappe staple — with overhangs that provide shade from the desert sun into the dining rooms, living room, and bedrooms.
The 3,614-square-foot residence includes three bedrooms and four bathrooms that provide panoramic views of the mountainside, continuing the theme of truly immersive desert living.
The best part? You can own this house for a mere $6.4M (or nearly $30,000 per month). I’ll be expecting your housewarming invite.
Tweet of the week
Frank Gehry unveiled The Tower this week, a stainless steel-clad building in the heart of the Luma Arles center in southern France.
It has… mixed reviews. But, as modern art goes, you either get it, or you don’t:
Some light reading
This week, I’m reading Eugene Raskin’s “Architecturally Speaking,” a humorous and insightful take on architecture, distilling abstract terms like scale, unity, style, and rhythm into tangible “down to earth” concepts with the “tools of the semanticist.”
It’s an easy read — I picked it up at the garage sale yesterday and read half over the course of the afternoon.
I highly recommend reading it for all creatives, designers, and art lovers alike! I’m already looking for ways to incorporate its principles into my designs for work.
Get more from Clean Lines
I can’t thank you enough for reading the first issue of Clean Lines! I’m excited to use this newsletter as an excuse to learn more about architecture, share some of my own works with you, and improve my craft.
I’d be so grateful if you shared this with your friends 🙏
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