Gerard Lee, AIA principal of Gerard Lee Architects, has spent much of his life studying climate responsive building design. From his early years growing up in Malaysia, he spent many a day wandering among traditional Malay homes in quaint villages nestled among tropical rain forest, colonial buildings and the obiquitos south east asian shop house. This continuing study includes the ancient Minangkabau wood buildings crafted with exquisite wood joinery to the aboriginal long houses of the indigenous peoples residing in "orang asli" settlements and present day construction of single family homes, high rise residential and commercial buildings in different climatic zones.
Educated about sustainable design at CalPoly San Luis Obispo before “green” became fashionable, both conventional and alternative construction methods, he continues to seek out knowledge about construction methods to help inform his architectural style.
After college, he was employed with BSA Architects (aka Bull Stockwell & Allen) in San Francisco, becoming an associate within three years. He was instrumental in helping design and deliver many of their key projects, both in public and private developments (several of which are snow country designs). The ability to adapt to different climatic conditions, design and detail site responsive architecture is a key specialty he is known for. In 2005, after the succesful Diablo Valley College New Bookstore project, Gerard Lee struck out on his own and founded, Gerard Lee Architects.
He continues to pursue both private and public projects with the goal to create better sustainable buildings for our communities and the future. His firm occasionally contributes technical know how to non profit organizations in tropical countries to help spread sustainability within developing tropical countries. Recent projects include providing information on sustainable architecture in tropical countries to UEM (Malaysia) as part of their research, technical discussions of Cob construction techniques and sustainable design for a library to be located in the Mae La refugee camp in Thailand and other organizations. He is active within the American Insitute of Architects East Bay chapter, served two years as the chair of the Young Architects Forum, a year as Director on the 2009 Board of Directors of the AIA EB, Vice President in 2010, President in 2011 and will be the elected AIACC represntative for the AIA East Bay for 2012. This is part of on going efforts to give back to the community, including a five year stint teaching design and construction detailing at Diablo Valley College, ongoing support of the CalPoly San Francisco Urban Internship program, and providing mentoring advice to both high school and college students interested in the field of architecture.
As a result of his experience and technical knowledge, he is frequently requested to provide both design and technical detailing services to other larger Architectural firms within the San Francisco Bay Area and outside the State of California. While he prefers working on his firms' projects, the ability to work with other architects and to build rich new relationships is one of the reasons he does so. The other of course, is to grow his experience with the many varied building types and to build on his knowledge. He believes that architects need to continually educate themselves or risks losing the ability to be innovative.
While the practice is in Oakland, he resides in the city of Alameda with his family.
His interest are varied and include remodeling, traveling, indulging in gastronomical delights, rollerblading, cycling,
taking long walks with his family and Tae Kwon Do
(he holds a 7th degree black belt, is certified as a referee, teaches at seminars & is proficient in a number martial arts weaponry).
He maintains a blog called Architectural ramblings