Roger Yuen Lee (1920-1981)


Lee, Roger Yuen

Personal Information

Birth/Death:    b. 19 February 1920 – d. 23 June 1981
Occupation:    American architect
Location:    Berkeley, CA; Honolulu, HI

AIA Affiliation

Member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 1949-decease
Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA) 1963

Biographical Sources

American Architects Directories:
Biographical listing in 1956 American Architects Directory
Biographical listing in 1962 American Architects Directory
Address listed in 1970 American Architects Directory

Biographical information:
Contributed by the Environmental Design Archives, University of California, Berkeley:
Roger Yuen Lee was born in 1920 and received his bachelor's degree in Arts and Architecture from UC Berkeley with top design honors in 1941. He was a member of Delta Sigma Chi, the Honorary Architecture Fraternity. Between 1941 and 1945 he worked with William Hays, and Howard Moise on U.S. Post Offices, and served as an Assistant Engineer with the U.S. Engineers office in Honolulu working on various defense projects. Following the war he practiced for a year with a number of firms in the Los Angeles area, returning to the Bay Area in 1947. Between 1947 and 1948 he was associated with architect Fred Langhorst.
Lee was noted for the grace and clarity of his residential designs, making him one of the foremost proponents of the Bay Region Style after World War II. He received a number of awards and honors including "America's Best Small Houses, 1949" for his own Berkeley residence; an Award of Merit in the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Honor Awards Program, 1955 for the George Channing residence in Sausalito; and First Honor award in the AIA "Homes for Better Living Program, 1956" for the William Wilkinson House in Orinda. In 1957 the London Architectural Review recognized him as one of forty U.S. architects who have "made personal contributions to American Architecture." During the course of his California practice he designed nearly 100 residences, and a small number of apartments, housing projects, recreational facilities, and churches. In 1955 he designed a series of "Universal Homes" in Kensington CA. A 1964 apartment complex he designed in North Berkeley won a national AIA design award. In 1968 he moved his practice to Hawaii. He died in 1981.
Sources: Roger Lee resume, obituary

Related Records

Archival Holdings

The American Institute of Architects Archives
      Membership file contains membership application, Fellowship nomination, photograph and biolgraphical outline, chapter transfer, notification of death, obituaries. Letters and forms in support of Fellowship have been scanned as a separate file.

Environmental Design Archives, University of California, Berkeley

Collection Number: 1999-3. Extent: 2 boxes, 8 flat file drawers. The Roger Lee collection documents many of Lee's projects throughout Northern California. The records consist of photographic files and drawings. The photograph files were, in many cases, compiled as submittals to various architectural awards competitions such as the AIA Homes for Better Living Program, the Western Home Awards, and the Bay Region Honor Awards. A number of Bay Area architectural photographers are represented in this collection including Roger Sturtevant, Ernest Braun, Theodore Osmundson, Phil Palmer, and Joshua Freiwald. Theodore Osmundson is also represented in this collection as a collaborating landscape architect on a number of projects, through the firm Osmundson & Staley. Link to online finding aid: http://www.oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/tf6t1nb2j4