One of the leading visionaries of mid-century modern architecture, Raphael Soriano was renowned for his innovative use of glass and steel in his residential designs. Like architects of his generation he recognized the appeal of Southern California's sun-drenched Mediterranean climate and sought to connect indoor and outdoor spaces – a hallmark of the mid-century style.
When Soriano passed away in 1988, a burial ceremony was held but a permanent marker was not placed on his grave. For 30 years, the site was identified only with a framed paper sign – until now.
On Sunday, October 21, the College of Environmental Design will properly memorialize Raphael Soriano's legacy in a gravestone unveiling ceremony.
Former colleagues and students, friends and architecture admirers are invited to attend the outdoor ceremony. Special speakers will include Architecture Professor Emeritus Richard J. Chylinski and current Department Chair Professor George Proctor (’89, architecture; ’89, urban planning).
Soriano designed about 50 structures during his career in Southern California. Today, roughly a dozen still exist. He spent his later years traveling as a researcher, architectural writer and lecturer. When he relocated to the region for the last time in 1985, he did not have an active practice. At the behest of Richard Chylinski, then the chair of the Department of Architecture at Cal Poly Pomona, Soriano was hired as a Special Sessions Instructor for the department's external degree program. (Read about Soriano's ENV connection here.)
The permanent marker to be unveiled was funded by donations from former and current architecture faculty, Soriano enthusiasts, and former colleagues, collectively known as The Friends of Raphael Soriano.
Supporters can still contribute to the Soriano Memorial Fund and join The Friends of Soriano.