George Heinrich

Share this post Twitter Facebook Tumblr Email Posted May 05, 2013 in Architecture, Minneapolis, Minnesota, modern architecture, Photography, Ralph Rapson, Rapson Architects, Rapson Greenbelt Rocker, Rapson Rapid Rocker

George Heinrich is a Minneapolis based photographer whose exceptional work was much admired by Ralph. He has photographed for both the Children's Theater and the Jungle Theater. His photo's have graced the covers of Architecture Magazine and Architecture Minnesota. 


George also has a person connection to the Rapsons, and took a very nice set of portraits of Ralph late in life. Over the years he also photographed projects for Rapson Architects including the Pillsbury House and the U of MN 19th Street Parking Ramp. More recently George took pictures of Ralph's prototypes for Rapson-Inc's current furniture line. The photos below are all Heinrich work.


Ralph Rapson's personal Rapid Rocker with custom bentwood back.

Ralph Rapson's personal Rapson Rapid Rocker (with custom bentwood back).


Rapson-Inc. Greenbelt Rocker in custom black lacquer and hair-on-hide leather

Rapson-Inc. Greenbelt Rocker in custom black lacquer and hair-on-hide leather.


Rapson Architects' 19th Street Ramp

19th Street Parking Ramp, designed by Rapson Architects

Portrait of Ralph Rapson at the Pillsbury house by George Hienrich

Ralph Rapson at the Pillsbury House.

Visit George's webpage for more of his work: http://www.heinrichphotography.com/

George's work will be on display this Friday, May 10th at the Huscha Studio in Downtown Minnepolis. Stop by to support this excellent artist.

Friday May 10th, 2013
5:00 - 9:30 pm

700 South 3rd St, LL2
Minneapolis, MN 55415

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2012 Highlights: Loll Outdoor Seating

Share this post Twitter Facebook Tumblr Email Posted January 17, 2013 in highlights, Loll, Loll Designs, Minnesota, Modern Outdoor Furniture, outdoor, outdoor furniture, plastic

Just in time for Summer Rapson and Duluth outdoor furniture manufacturer Loll Designs partnered to produce the Greenbelt chairs in recycled plastic. The Loll outdoor line expands on Ralph’s tradition of using the socially conscious materials, producing furniture using recycled milk bottles. Few Modern designers delved into the outdoor furniture realm, but was Ralph always ahead of his time. Working for Knoll he designed the Equipment For Living line, using manufacturing materials available in excess after the wars - Aluminum and Bronze. Loll’s durable outdoor furniture joins good design and ethical values (and a wallop of fun).

Are these not the most handsome outdoor chairs ever produced? I am still not certain how many recycled milk jugs it takes to make one chair, but I am certain that I love Loll and their vibrant seats!

Loll Low Back Lounge with arms

Loll Designs High Back Rocker and Lounge



P.S. If you find a Loll chair I challenge you lift it and learn how substantial these pieces are!

Loll Lounge with arms in sky blue

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Highlights of 2012: New Retail Partners

Share this post Twitter Facebook Tumblr Email Posted January 09, 2013 in 2012, Boomerang for modern, favorite moments, Forage Modern Workshop, highlights, Mid2Mod, Midcentury Furniture, midcentury modern, minneapolis, Minnesota, Mod Livin, modern furniture, New York, NYC, Spokane, Texas, Two Jakes, warsaw, wojo works

 2012 boasted many new partnerships for Rapson-Inc. If you are traveling in any of these cities, search out these stores; They are wonderful for experiencing fun and exciting design in person, and are also invariably located in the cities’ cultural hotspot.  

Forage modern workshop in Minneapolis who provide customers, with not just handsome furniture, but are also an “idea shop,” a place for new design--especially from the midwest. This mobile is available from their online store (I have a love for mobiles nurtured by growing up around Ralph’s collection).


ModLivin in Denver features a large showroom of furniture and a fun selection of furniture both new and classic. If you act fast they also have a supply of Stendig iconic wall calendars (baby not included).



Mid2Mod in dallas sells the best new and vintage furniture, lighting and household accessories. If you are shopping in Texas, this is the place to do it. As a case in point, they are the only retailer of Bend designs (cool table below) in the South US and the only dealer for Rapson in Texas.  


One of the most recent additions to our showrooms is Markanto in Germany. Yes you read that right, Rapson furniture is now available overseas. Markanto has an exhaustive list of furniture by nearly every modern designer. If you are looking for furniture in Germany, you have found it. 


Boomerang for Modern in San Diego has been ‘bringing back’ good design since 1985. Located in the Little Italy district, they have three floors of stunning new and vintage furniture. In addition to a blog featuring new furniture finds, their website also has a great section of interior design projects they have consulted on (including one at the ubiquitous Stahl house). 



Wojo Works in Spokane Washington is a spunky furniture and gifts store. They specialize in selling not just classy designs, but classy designs with personality. Their fun sense of humor comes through quickly browsing their online store.



One of the most exciting exhibitions we were able to do this year was at new retailer Two Jakes in New York City. The show in May featured many of Ralph’s drawing’s and also featured the introduction of the Rapson Line of Outdoor furniture with Loll Designs. Two Jakes’ great showroom (best of NY according to New York Magazine) can be found in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. If you are in the Big Apple stop by and tell them Rapson-Inc. sent ya!


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Rapson-Inc. favorite moments of 2012: Articles in both the New York and L.A. Times

Share this post Twitter Facebook Tumblr Email Posted January 03, 2013 in 2012, favorite moments, LA, Loll, Loll Designs, Minnesota, modern furniture, Modern Outdoor Furniture, new product, New York, NYC, outdoor, outdoor furniture, plastic, Press

In June of this year the LA Times ran a story featuring the outdoor furniture partnership between Loll and Rapson-Inc. Not to be outdone, the New York Times ran an article soon after titled, “Outdoor Furniture's Colorful Bloom,” featuring a number of pieces including the Loll Rapson low back lounge in sky blue. Kudos to the papers' fine journalists, and cheers to another year of good press.







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A Futuristic 'New Town' on the Cuff of the Twin Cities Still Retains its Charms

Share this post Twitter Facebook Tumblr Email Posted June 05, 2012 in 1960s urban planning, Futuristic Modern Communities, Jonathan Minnesota, Minnesota, modern architecture, New Towns, Ralph Rapson, Rapson Architects, Rapson-Inc., Satellite Cities, The Red Cedar House


MinnPost recently posted an interesting article about a modernist suburban town, Jonathan, Minnesota, which now acts as a neighborhood within the Chaska city limits. Jonathan was planned as a 'New Town' in the 1960s, based on an idea that originated in Sweden and took a strong hold in Scotland, England and the United States. Jonathan was the first of its kind in the US, putting into play many of the urban planning principles of its Swedish predecessors. I can't say if the creators of Jonathan looked specifically to Sweden as a guide, but I do know that one contributing architect, Ralph Rapson, spent much of the early 1950s in Scandinavian countries, designing US Embassies for Stockholm, Copenhagen, Oslo, and The Hague. In the process of designing the Stockholm US Embassy, Rapson worked alongside the preeminent Stockholm urban planner, Sven Markelius, the man behind Stockholm's infamous 'Satellite Cities' or 'New Towns'.



Ralph Rapson designed only one home for the Jonathan community in 1966, The Red Cedar House - aka the Weyerhaeuser Demonstration House D-1317. Ralph was commissioned by the Weyerhaeuser Company to design "a house for everyman", using Weyerhaeuser products. The home was featured in Better Homes & Gardens and the plans were made available to anyone for reproduction. It was intended for the self-supporting community to be linked to the Twin Cities via some sort of high speed rail system, much like the Satellite Cities of Stockholm, but the Jonathan Development Corporation folded in 1979 before that stage of the project was realized. 


Much of the futuristic town remains intact, including The Red Cedar House. See the MinnPost article for more on the history and quirky characteristics of Minnesota's own 'New Town'. 


[photo credits: Triangle Modernist Houses]

Caroline Engel for Rapson-Inc. 

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Ralph Rapson Design: St. Peter's Lutheran Church

Share this post Twitter Facebook Tumblr Email Posted May 14, 2012 in Edina, lutheran church, Mid-century church, Minneapolis, Minnesota, modern architecture, Ralph Rapson

In the post-war period, many Minneapolis/Saint Paul citizens moved to the newly expanding suburbs for the better life they were promised in the advertisements and news. Families were drawn by the abundance of new houses with large front lawns for their young children. The Bar-B-Que became a new neighborhood past time and shops sold everything from red checked table clothes to bocce ball and horseshoe sets. Husbands joined bowling leagues, fraternities and golf clubs. Women enjoyed the modern ammentities in their kitchens and modern style of their homes. Much like the scenes of The Help, they volunteered in the community, attended school meetings and met for bridge tournaments. Schools and churches saw overwhelming membership growth in these years, and many opted for a new building in the modern style to suit the modern tastes of their young members. 

I have come across the Ralph Rapson designed St. Peter’s Lutheran Church a number of times in print, but this past Monday, I finally went to see it in person. Toby Rapson had warned me of some insensitive changes made to the building over the years, so my mild disappointment wasn’t unexpected. The sanctuary was still wonderful, even on an overcast grey day. The 8 peaks of the octagonal plan let in floods of bright white light, illuminating the pulpit and the whole sanctuary. Much like a theatre in the round, the space is democratic, with no seat is too far from the centre.


My disappointment lies in the space around the sanctuary. Crowding the sanctuary, the space is dark and uninspiring. Looking back to photos after its construction in 1957, I see that originally, this space was lined with large floor to ceiling exterior windows. One wall of the sanctuary was also open to this surrounding space, creating a nice open flow. Now it feels as if the sanctuary is a mismatched piece squeezed into the wrong puzzle. Regardless, the sanctuary is one of a kind and is definitely worth seeing.


[photo credit: Rapson Architects]                                 


Also of note in the area is the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, located at 48th and France. Built during the same period, the sanctuary is similar to that of Christ Church Lutheran by Eliel Saarinen, however it reminded me of a Viking long hall with the heavy wooden plank ceiling and paintings. Its a beautiful space with notable artwork throughout. 


[all other photos credits to: Caroline Engel]

Caroline Engel for Rapson-Inc.


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