Raphael Soriano Greek / American, 1904-1988


Raphael Soriano was born in Rhodes, Greece in 1904. He was an influential architect and educator who helped define a period of 20th century architecture that came to be known as Mid-century modern. Soriano enrolled into the University of Southern California's School of Architecture from which he graduated in 1934. In 1931 he secured an internship at the practice of Richard Neutra, working alongside fellow interns Gergory Ain and Harwell Hamilton Harris. This was followed by a brief internship with Rudolf Schindler in 1934. Soriano pioneered the use of modular prefabricated steel and aluminum structures in residential and commercial design and construction. Of the 50 buildings of Soriano's built, only 12 remains standing, the others suffering poorly from southern California's wildfires, earthquakes and demolition. A few of his renowned buildings include the Lipetz House and the Shulman House both located in Los Angeles, California. A collection of Soriano documents are kept at the College of Environmental Design Resource Center at the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. From 1970 to his death in 1988 Soriano focused on traveling the world as an architectural lecturer, writer and researcher. In 1986, Soriano was recognized by the AIA with a Distinguished Achievement Award and by USC with a Distinguished Alumni Award.