Day 115/365 of Steel – Raphael Soriano

Raphael S. Soriano, (August 1, 1904 – July 21, 1988) was born in Rhodos, Greece. He emigrated to the US in 1924 and graduated in 1934 in architecture. He worked for a while for Richard J. Neutra before founding his own practice in LA in 1936.

The 1964 Grossman House by Raphael Soriano in L.A.
Fig 2: The 1964 Grossman House by Raphael Soriano in L.A.
Listing courtesy of Ilana Gafni & Crosby Doe | Crosby Doe & Associates

Soriano was a true ‘steel-architect’. His projects include a Case Study House (1950) in Pacific Palisades, with a rectangular floorplan and full-length glazing, as well as a house and studio for Julius Shulman in LA. He also designed a prototype house for mass production with a light steel frame, steel-paneled roof and sliding-glass doors, which won awards from the American Institute of Architects.

Soriano’s Colby Apartments of 1951 — distinct not only for their modern design, but also for their extensive use of steel — received the National American Institute of Architects Award for Design. The Colby apartments were a milestone in the affordable house building history. Soriano brought all his knowledge and talent to create open and airy spaces that were incredibly well connected with the exterior. Making the structure exposed on its interior patio also shows how deeply Soriano was involved wit the mid-century modern architecture movement. Despite being recognized as a highly valuable project, Soriano’s Colby apartment building was tore down in 1980s after its owner’s death.

He was a true pioneer in the use of modular prefabricated steel and aluminum structures in residential and commercial design and construction.

About the Author:

Bruno Dursin – Managing Director at Believe in Steel. Bruno has more than 30 years of experience in promoting steel & steel solutions. His clients benefit from his extensive network within the building industry.

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