Lapp RiverHouse Featured in Lifestyle Magazine


Ross Yukawa the art director of Lifestyle magazine came to the Kings River Conservancy’s Spring Fling with my dear friend, neighbor, and graphic designer Kathleen Laird–it’s a small world; you’d better behave! Zach from Third Element Photo Company took the photos and Christopher Wilder interviewed us by phone to write the story.  Evidence of the effect this architecture has on creative motivation, Katie Presser, the marketing coordinator wrote in an email, “We recently decided to redesign our magazine (which you can read about in our Editor’s Letter) and we felt that your home epitomized what we had envisioned moving forward.”  The editor, Karen Tallalian, writes that the magazine had been poised to “refresh” its look, and they were waiting for the right issue, the right cover to unveil the new look.  “When we came upon the Lapp RiverHouse (story on page 24), we knew this was it.  Chic and set against a gorgeous night sky, it was the perfect background to showcase Lifestyle’s new look.”

While it looks even better in print, here’s the online version of the article:


Christopher Wilder asked very smart questions that showed he gets the architecture in ways that some do not. His article is well-crafted and fun to read.  I suggest you do:

There are some corrections:  first of all, my father-in-law Leroy Lapp (coincidentally, Greg’s father) did build the fabulous spinning lazy Susan in the center of the kitchen island, but the expertly-crafted circular cabinet itself was build by Golden State Woodworking, who, when I said we could just segment the panels to create an illusion of a circle (and save money), said they’d prefer to do it right–and they did.  Michael and Harry deserve credit!

The “single wooden beam” is actually reflected by a second identical wooden beam, one on the north and one on the south.  They are each three joined pieces.  Interestingly, Sidney Mukai, the builder, decided to place the sections the way he saw the Hoover Dam constructed in a documentary:  first the two outside pieces, and the center section last.

insignificant, but the Steinway is 1902.

The other odd thing is the over-use of the term “orgatecture.” I suppose I like the way Wilder is coining the name of my blog as a term, but I don’t think anyone else uses it!

Some of his similes are very clever:  the steel beams “like the bones of skyscrapers” the collection above our bed as a “deconstructed dreamcatcher,” but why do writers feel they need to lead with a comparison of the natural, organic architecture to pop culture?  Donald Munroe of the Fresno Bee wanted to coin the name “Football House” for the Lencioni Residence: “It looks like something you’d kick through a pair of goalposts,” is a loose recollection of his quote (I really didn’t prefer that one).  Extreme Homes called it “The Wave House” and both houses are frequently compared to boats.  I never saw the 80s Disney movie Flight of the Navigator, but Lapp RiverHouse is not a spaceship, and, as the photos attest, it’s not even that weird.  Is it?  I did say that the first draft of the house (the version we didn’t use! ) looked like a giant trilobite, so I’m as guilty as the rest.  I have a whole paragraph or two in the book about the similes attributed to my houses.

I’m grateful he included this website.

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