Frank Lee, FAIA, MAUD '79
Frank Christopher Lee’s architectural practice has focused on designs for challenged urban communities. His practice serves as a model for the improvement of design standards that help rebuild social structure and provide architecture that enhances community life. Utilizing an inclusive approach enables the communities to voice their needs, programmatically, aesthetically and culturally. From infill housing to community centers and from banks to community colleges, Frank’s designs promote positive social interaction and instill a sense of community pride along with raised design expectations.
Frank has 40 years’ experience prior to and since co-founding Johnson & Lee, Ltd. with Phillip Craig Johnson in 1983. Prior to J&L, Frank worked for Murphy/Jahn and O’Donnell, Wicklund, Pigozzi. Born on Chicago’s Southside, Frank attended Lindblom Technical High School and is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has been a visiting professor, critic and lecturer at Cornell University, Tulane University, Virginia Tech, University of Michigan, University of Virginia, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Detroit Mercy and Tuskegee University. He has also lectured at the Toronto Society of Architects, Chicago Architecture Foundation, the Graham Foundation, Chicago Chapter or the American Institute of Architects, The Society of College and University Planners and the Chicago Historical Society. His work has been featured in Progressive Architecture, Architecture Record, Inland Architect, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, Midwest Construction and The Newsletter of AIA Chicago. Projects that he has worked on have been honored by the Chicago AIA, Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, The Congress for New Urbanism, Friends of the Chicago River and the Chicago Athenaeum.
Frank’s planning efforts have rewoven numerous of public housing developments back into their surrounding context. He re-establishes the street grid and utilizes numerous architectural signatures, creating developments that blend in with the surrounding community. His collaborative approach is visible in the many workshops he leads during the community-building process. He translates the needs and desires of all parties, residents, developers and government officials into a viable design that is reflective of the multiple perspectives and produces viable mixed income neighborhood. His work educates neighborhood residents, helping them to articulate their need for affordable housing, accessible community centers, and facilities that support the restructuring and revitalization of their neighborhoods.