Lena Ning Zhang, AIA, LEED AP

Lena Zhang is a principal at Z Studio Architects in San Francisco, providing full architectural services in the Bay Area for high-end residential and small commercial projects. 

After graduating from UB in 1989, Zhang worked on an international competition-winning project for the Tokyo International Forum with Rafael Viñoly Architects in New York.  Prior to starting Z Studio Architects, she had been with San Francisco-based Kaplan McLaughlin Diaz, where she led many large-scale institutional and commercial projects domestically and in China.  With a BS in building structural engineering from Tongji University, Shanghai, and an MArch from UB, her combined knowledge in both fields has bolstered her efforts on many challenging projects.

A believer in progressive urban planning and architectural design, Zhang promotes the integration of the built environment in its natural historical context with the embodiment of the contemporary spirit.  She gave a talk at an MIPIM Conference in Singapore on the Vertical Village, advocating the three-dimensional community to prevent urban sprawl and congestion in addressing the urgent demands for living spaces in Asia.  Currently, she is an advisor on a government sponsored economic development project for a village in China.  The project strives to showcase the natural environment, the unique local cultural traditions, and the vernacular architecture in creating a “slow-living” resort within a functioning farming community.

An active member of the International Committee of the AIA San Francisco Chapter, Zhang has been invited to various AIA panel discussions on architects’ practices in Asia.  She has also been engaged in the academic world by being a guest critic for architectural design studios at Stanford University and UC Berkeley, and a speaker for the Asia Conference at Harvard GSD and the Haas Business School Lecture Series, UC Berkeley. Her publications include “Place Making”, and “Some Thoughts about Civic Architecture”, for China’s Time and Architecture journal.  Among her avocations, Zhang continues to project her creativity in the visual arts as an active founder of a water-coloring club among Bay Area architects.