Raphael Soriano

Architect | 1904-1988
Photograph by Julius Shulman © J. Paul Getty Trust. Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2004.R.10)

Prior to graduating from USC’s School of Architecture, in 1934, Raphael Soriano internshed in Richard Neutra’s office. Relying heavily on steel construction materials, Soriano grew to be widely recognized for Case Study House 1950 for Arts & Architecture magazine as well as a home for photographer Julius Shulman. None of his work in San Diego was built.

Photograph by Julius Shulman © J. Paul Getty Trust. Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2004.R.10)

Raphael Simon Soriano was born in Rhodes, Greece, to a Sephardic Jewish family, and attended College Saint-Jean-Baptiste, in France, prior to moving to the United States in 1924.

After settling in Los Angeles, Soriano enrolled in USC’s School of Architecture in 1929. In 1930, Soriano became an American citizen and in 1931 he secured an internship with Richard Neutra alongside Gregory Ain and Harwell Hamilton Harries. He joined RM Schindler as an intern, in 1934, bfore returning back to Neutra’s office. Soriano graduated from USC in 1934.

By 1936, he completed his first independent commission, the Lipetz house, which was included in the 1937 Paris International Architectural Exhibition. During the late 1930s through the mid '40s Soriano served USC as a lecturer and created proposals for post-war housing through World War II.

In 1953, Soriano relocated from Los Angeles to Tiburon. By 1955, he designed the first mass-produced steel house, built by developer Joseph Eichler.

Partial List of Projects

Tidmarsh, George House (146)
La Jolla
*For George Tidmarsh, VP at Consolidated Vultee, Soriano offered an early example of the use of modular steel construction for a single-family house providing Soriano the flexibility of working with non-load-bearing walls. The design is similar to the Katz house, which was realized a year later. Not built.