Our Team Has a New(ish) Face


Who can forget a name like Almarine Kitchens? Our former intern is back and we couldn’t be happier about it!

Almarine rejoined our team in July as an Architectural Associate where she has jumped into a number of projects helping with everything from developing design options to construction site walks. She enjoys taking a project from schematic ideas to concrete realities. We like the sound of that!

We must have an attraction to the talent graduating from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo because Almarine, a recent graduate with a Bachelor of Architecture degree, adds to our firm’s Mustang pride. Founding partner Rocky Rockefeller and RKA design associate Alex Alvarez are Cal Poly Architecture grads, too.

Read on to find out more about Almarine. And if you have a minute, check out her favorite Instagrammer @gandyworks for a little inspiration!

Name: Almarine Kitchens

RKA Title: Architectural Associate

Degree(s) & From Where: Bachelor of Architecture from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Professional Affiliations: AIA

Where do you find your creative inspiration? I enjoy storytelling and writing. The story is the background and motivation of every idea; finding and telling the story helps to make things real and give reason to every move that follows.

What keeps you inspired? I stay inspired through curiosity and a desire to learn. I am always questioning how things work, how I could make them better or how I can use this new knowledge to solve a different problem. Always looking for new things to learn ensures that I am always growing and inspired to pursue new ideas.

What's your favorite building in L.A.?  I favor The Getty Center for its clean details and exquisitely executed craftsmanship. The entire place is cohesive and everything from the connection of the handrails to the shape of the trees has been thought out and maintained with the greatest of care.

What do you love most about working at RKA? Working at RKA is a continual learning experience. It’s encouraged to take on new tasks and gain new knowledge whenever there is a need or opportunity. I have always felt like a valued member of the team and that everyone is here to help.

Welcome Laura


We’re pleased to have the talents of Laura Kapp on the RKA team as a new Architectural Associate. She joined us in July and has been upping our rendering game ever since.

Laura recently received her Masters of Architecture from the University of Southern California and is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council as well as the AIA.

Learn more about Laura’s creative side and where she thinks the craft of architecture is going.

Welcome to the team, Laura! We’re happy you’re here.

Name: Laura Kapp

RKA Title: Architectural Associate

Degree(s) & From Where: Bachelor of Science in Architecture with a minor in Graphic Arts Technology from Ball State University; Masters of Architecture from the University of Southern California

Professional Affiliations: AIA & USGBC

Where do you find your creative inspiration?

My creative inspiration comes from observing different art forms, such as furniture design, collage art, fashion, sculpture, and film (to name a few). I especially enjoy seeing art that interprets traditional materials in radically new ways or that creates interesting juxtapositions.

Jorinde Voigt's work is one of my more current obsessions. She creates captivatingly intricate paintings that live somewhere between diagram, art, and environment. I admire the way she is able to craft art that feels both mathematical and yet also deeply emotional and ephemeral.


Tell us a passion of yours.

Fabrication is a huge passion of mine and one that I inherited from my grandfather. As he did, I love making things with my hands and learning the temperaments of different materials. I'm also fascinated by digital fabrication technology and enjoy thinking up new ways to put my 3D printer to use.


What's your favorite building in L.A.?

Art museums are sacred places to me and I'm completely infatuated by the Broad. It's a simple concept, a museum "vault" covered by an elaborate "veil" facade. However, depending on the time of day and the season in which you visit, the sun interacts with the facade to give you a completely new experience each time.


Where do you see the future of architecture?

I believe architecture will become increasingly more customizable, affordable, and sustainable as it continues to embrace new technologies. My hope is that with these newly integrated technologies, architecture will become more accessible and exceptional design will become the new norm.


What do you love most about working at RKA?

I love the positive work environment and being surrounded by so many talented and hard working people.

RKA Receives "Professional Builder Design Award"

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Custom 8,200 Sq Ft Farmhouse Earns Gold for Exceptional Design


EL SEGUNDO, CA (September 14, 2018) — Rockefeller Kempel Architects (RKA) has been named a winner in the annual Professional Builder Design Awards contest. Beating a competitive group of entrants, RKA earned Gold in the Custom Home category for its 8,200 square foot farmhouse located in the Willamette Valley of Oregon.


“We are honored to be recognized by Professional Builder and the panel of judges for our design of this exceptional home,” said Chris Kempel, AIA, Rockefeller Kempel Architects Partner. “What you see today is the outcome of tireless dedication to getting it right for the client – honoring the Pacific Northwest region, innovative problem-solving to meet their needs of an indoor/outdoor lifestyle, and thinking creatively to deliver a home that enables its owners to do what they love.”


Located on 83 acres, the Willamette Valley Residence is a balance between modern and traditional architecture, bringing contemporary elements and amenities to a rustic farmhouse style. It combines the three key elements of a farmhouse (a rural location, a functional porch and a combination of formal and informal spaces) and captures the LA lifestyle of indoor / outdoor living.


The Professional Builder Design Awards recognize construction industry professionals - builders, architects, designers, developers, land planners, and interior designers - across the country for design innovation and superb attention to detail, as well as a high level of construction quality and success in the marketplace. This year's awards named eight gold, six silver, and two bronze winners in categories that include custom homes, multifamily, and single-family homes of various sizes. 


The jurors noted an appreciation for how the farmhouse design maximizes prevailing breezes and solar exposure. “There was a rigorous level of consistency and historic-modern integration,” they said. “[RKA showed a commitment] to a design aesthetic throughout, and it does this particular aesthetic really well.” 


The winners were selected by a panel of esteemed build and design experts that included Joe Atalla, president of Berkeley Building Co., Meridian, Idaho; John Guilliams, partner/director of design at KGA Studio Architects, Louisville, Colorado; Scott Sanders, CEO/managing partner of BrightLeaf Homes, Hinsdale, Illinois; and Allison Iantosca, partner at F.H. Perry Builder, Hopkinton, Massachusetts.


RKA’s farmhouse residence is featured on the cover of the September issue of Professional Builder magazine wherein the PB Design Award winners are profiled. More on the winners and the award can also be found online at www.probuilder.com.


For more on Rockefeller Kempel’s award-winning architecture, please visit www.rockefellerkempel.com.




Established in 2002, Rockefeller Kempel Architects (RKA) is a highly skilled and talented team of architects and designers who specialize in modern residential, commercial, and mixed-use projects. RKA provides comprehensive architectural services to transform space from conceptual design and strategic planning to construction administration and post-occupancy evaluation. The team is known for their expertise in modern design, attention to site context, and focus on details. With over 75 years of experience between the partners Rocky Rockefeller, AIA and Christopher Kempel, AIA and a distinguished list of clients and design accolades, few architecture firms compare. To learn more about the talented team and their exceptional commercial and residential work, please visit www.rockefellerkempel.com.



Since 1936, Professional Builder has remained dedicated to serving the needs of the nation’s home-building community — builders, architects, designers, trade partners, and suppliers — with award-winning content and proven, practical solutions. The magazine is published by SGC Horizon, a division of Scranton Gillette Communications, and serves an audience of more than 112,000 leading decision makers in the home-building market. For more, visit www.probuilder.com.