Sign up for our free newsletter

Free D.C. news, delivered to your inbox daily.

10

THURSDAY

Although his name might not ring a bell, Minnesota architect Ralph Rapson, now in his 80s and still going strong, counted echt modernists Eliel and Eero Saarinen among his peers and collaborators. Working in the Midwest, the architect designed churches, schools, and opera houses familiar to the folks of burgs like Edina, Minn. Danes and Swedes know him, too: He spent the early ’50s across the pond designing embassies with the State Department’s Foreign Building Operations program. In all his projects, the architect’s signature interiors speak volumes: By massing blocks of air and light, Rapson built buoyant, personable living spaces at a time when Machine Age aesthetics favored steel over people. Even the figures populating the architects’ drawings—currently on view at the Octagon—take jaunty steps, as if inspired by the exuberance of his buildings. Rapson discusses his work with Society of Architectural Historians President Richard Longstreth and Minneapolis Institute of Arts curator Christopher Monkhouse at 6:45 p.m. at the American Institute of Architects’ Board Room, 1735 New York Ave. NW. $15. For reservations call (202) 626-7387. (JD)