Carrying on the Kappe Legacy

Palm Springs Life partnered with the Kappe family to realize one of the most significant architectural residences in Palm Springs in several decades. Check out some of the highlights from this year’s tour.

An internationally recognized architect, urban planner, and educator, Ray Kappe’s much awarded and published work is considered to be an extension of the early Southern California master architects: Wright, Schindler, Neutra, and Harwell Hamilton Harris.

Though Kappe died in 2019, his first house in Palm Springs — and one of his last designs to be built — was completed in the Desert Palisades development at the west end of Racquet Club Road under the guidance of his son and architectural partner, Finn Kappe.

The house is a light tubular steel framework that allows the structure to follow the sloping site while floating above it. Four flat roof planes hover overhead, while planes of glass and metal panels enclose the living areas and allow spectacular vistas on the south side looking out over the valley.

Kappe’s homes are known for how sensitively they’re placed on their sites, with minimal disruption of the natural shape of the land. The interiors feature flowing spaces of stepped floor levels and exposed post-and-beam structures that tell the story of how the homes were built. 

Visitors were able to enjoy beautifully appointed interiors furnished by Carl Hansen & Son, Herman Miller, and Modern Hacienda Store.

The house’s stepped profile, when viewed from a distance, is in harmony with the natural shape of the land.

Special thanks to Palm Springs Life, the Kappe family, and Desert Palisades for making tours of this home possible.
All photos courtesy of Lance Gerber.