Above: Shepherd House owner Dan Voytas has refurbished and updated his 1956 home, which was the first one designed by Ralph Rapson in University Grove in Falcon Heights. Photo: Carlos Gonzalas / Star Tribune
Located in a wooden suburban setting in Minnesota is an alcove of Mid Century modern homes known as University Grove. And a standout home – as well as a standout architect – is the Shepherd house designed by prolific architect and designer Ralph Rapson. Having studied at the renowned Cranbrook Academy (with such design luminaries as Eero Saarinen, Charles and Ray Eames, and Harry Bertoia) Rapson began working for Saarinen’s office soon afetr graduating. In 1942 Rapson taught architecture at the New Bauhaus School (now IIT Institute of Design) from 1942 to 1946, and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1946 to 1954.
In 1954 Rapson moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, (where he was also head of the architecture school at the University of Minnesota) and continued to work there up until his death in 2008 at the age of 93, leaving behind a tremendous body of work.
Via the Minnesota Star Tribune of the Shepherd House
University of Minnesota professor William G. Shepherd built this iconic University Grove house in 1957. Though Rapson had been dean of the university’s School of Architecture since 1954, he’d done little design work since arriving in Minnesota. With the crisp, bold design of this 2,000-square-foot house, he made a bold visual statement. Like many midcentury houses, it’s basically a two-story box—but a carefully manipulated box that showcases Rapson’s command of the interplay between solid and void.
Click the image for full view
Check out these great books!