Armenian by birth, Kay emigrated to the United States when he was six years old. As a young man lured by the excitement of Hollywood, Kay came to Los Angeles to study architecture. Kay attended architecture classes at both the University of Southern California (USC) and later at Stanford.
Kay used the Islamic Revival style extensively during the 1920s - incorporating many fanciful elements including domes, Moorish revival arches, and exotic turrets. By the mid-1930s, Kay's designs express a preference for the Streamline Moderne style. Although his work includes residential and commercial, his most well-known buildings include the four streamline modern and modern apartments that surround the High Tower Elevator in Hollywood. 2182-2188 N. Broadview Terrace (1935-36) was the inspiration for Raymond Chandler in his book, The High Window. Chandler describes the residence of Philip Marlowe as being on the cliffs above High Tower Drive in a building with a fancy elevator tower.
Born in Rhodes, Raphael Soriano emigrated to the US in 1924. In the early 1930s he attended USC, then worked briefly for Richard Neutra and Rudolph Schindler. Fascinated with the possibilities steel could bring to modern architecture, Soriano became an early proponent of the material.
Strongly influenced by the International Style and the work of European architects, Soriano built dozens of modern homes in the Los Angeles area throughout the 30s, 40s and 50s. He was tapped by the Case Study House Program in 1950 for a home in Pacific Palisades. In 1953, Soriano moved to the Bay Area where he designed housing for the modern developer Joseph Eichler, and began experimenting with a new industrial material: aluminum. Shortly before his death, Soriano was appointed a Special Sessions Instructor at Cal Poly Pomona.
Rodney A. Walker is best known as a modern architect for Arts + Architecture magazine's Case Study House program. A student of engineering, Walker worked in the office of Rudolph Schindler in 1938 and emulated the master as engineer, designer and builder. Walker's design philosophy included economy and efficiency without aesthetic compromise.
Walker designed and built hundreds of homes in Southern California - often building two at a time for maximum efficiency. Throughout his work, Walker emphasized the three-foot building module and experimented extensively with dynamic roof planes. In 1956, Walker moved to Ojai where he continued his design practice until retirement in 1971.