Architect William M. Bray, AIA, Lifetime Achievement Award
Los Angeles Times | January 15, 1994
Kay Hwangbo, Reporter
From the picture window of his airy, eighth-floor studio in Encino, William Bray can look down on hundreds of homes he has designed. And they’re just the tip of the iceberg.
Designs created by William Bray, AIA Architect & Associates have been used to build more than 40,000 housing units throughout California. Bray himself has been designing homes and commercial buildings for more than 60 years.
Today, the San Fernando Valley chapter of the American Institute of Architects will honor Bray’s accomplishments by presenting him with its first Lifetime Achievement Award.
The 7 p.m. event at Mountaingate Country Club in Brentwood could easily be billed as “William Bray: An Architect and a Gentleman.”
“He is a wonderful father, and a wonderful example of what an architect should be,” said Roger Winston Bray, who joined his father’s firm in 1974. “He has never had an unkind word to say about anyone. And his talent matches his kindness.”
“He makes me feel glad I’m an architect with him,” said Roger Bown, president of the Valley AIA chapter.
Bray’s design style tends toward the traditional. He can claim to his credit many English-style country estates, American Colonial mansions and Spanish villas. The architect’s homes can be found in Southern California’s most exclusive neighborhoods, including Brentwood, Bel-Air and Westlake Village. Bray has also designed custom homes for clients in Hawaii, Florida, Thailand and the Philippines.
“We don’t go way out on a limb,” Bray said. “We work with the needs of the clients.”
The veteran designer graduated from UC Berkeley in 1928. An art major, he once dreamed of going to Paris to become a painter. But an awareness of the instability of a painter’s life and of the “great need” for architectural design put him on his present course.
“I love being able to express both beauty and utility,” Bray said.