BBS News

Congratulations, Roger!

We would like congratulate to Roger P. Smith, our founding principal, on receiving the 2022 AIA Long Island ARCHITECTURAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD.

This award recognizes an individual architect that has produced distinguished architecture consistently for a period of at least 10 years. In addition, Roger received the AIA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010.

Congratulation from Fred, Larry, Ken, Kevin, Gary, Joe, and the entire BBS family!


B I O G R A P H Y :


With over four decades of diverse professional experience, Roger is an accomplished professional, academic, and philanthropist figure with demonstrated excellence in the fields of architecture, engineering and construction management. Having been awarded the AIA Lifetime Achievement Award by the Long Island Chapter in 2010, today Roger is receiving the AIA Architectural Achievement Award to recognize his outstanding service to the Long Island architectural community, and the quality and consistency of his architectural work throughout his distinguished career.

A founding principal of BBS Architects, Landscape Architects & Engineers, Roger is the architect-of-record for well over $3.0 billion in public and private construction projects across the Northeast. He is a past Member of the AIA Long Island Chapter’s Board of Directors, and a past member of the New York State Building Code Board of Review for Southeast Region, for which he served as Chairman for (14) years.

Roger Smith grew up on the South Shore of Long Island, in the Bayport-Blue Point area. After his graduation ‘magna cum laude’ with a degree in architecture from New York Institute of Technology, in 1978 Roger accepted a full-time position at Burton & Hand of Patchogue, where he had worked part-time as a college intern. He left to take a position in the design/build industry, where he gained more knowledge of not only architecture but also of the construction industry and, in particular, construction management. It was during this period in his career that Roger discovered the art of the well-drawn construction document – the very key to his long and successful career in architecture.

Following several years as a project manager for a construction management firm and a specialty sub-contractor, and as a sole proprietor, Roger returned to Burton & Hand in 1984 when he was asked to run the firm’s architectural group. At the time, the firm was primarily known as a surveying and engineering practice specializing in local land planning. Roger initiated the firm’s gradual shift toward architecture, having redirected the focus of the firm and transformed architectural services into the integral component of its business. After only a year back with the firm, Roger became a Partner and Lead Architect of Burton Behrendt Smith (BBS).

More than (35) years after joining BBS, Roger’s most fulfilling accomplishment remains the firm’s quality-oriented culture that he had initiated over the years. At BBS, his ‘Playing Architect’ motto became a synonym to “designing for buildability,” or making intelligent and strategic design decisions which are based in reality of time and resources, expressed by quality construction documents. According to Roger, the key to designing a project that will stand the test of time is, “to present a project that is exciting, tangible, and constructible. Your drawings are the way the marketplace values you and grades you. Just playing architect is one thing, but a really good architect gets things built.

By sharing this high level of commitment to quality along with his personal dedication to client relationships, Roger was able to establish BBS as one of the top multi-disciplinary practices in the Northeast. With virtually all architectural and engineering services available in-house, the firm today stands atop the educational facility market. Its success comes from the unhindered ability of its staff to plan, design, and develop a project in any type of setting. The firm has won numerous local (ARCHI) and national design awards, and has had its design work recognized and published many times over in the past (25) years.

Roger’s community and philanthropic activities have largely mirrored his professional and personal life. From 2008, Roger has been a Founding Member of FRIENDS of NYIT School of Architecture and Interior Design, from 2006 he served on the Board of Advisors Committee at St. John the Baptist Diocesan High School in West Islip, and from 2005 as a Member of the Finance Committee for Our Lady of the Snow RC Church in Blue Point – and most recently as a Trustee for the Church. He presently is a Board Member and Treasurer of the Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts.

His professional success has put Roger at the forefront of designing spaces where children learn and play. It is this desire to see all children thrive that led him to champion special causes and projects for children. Roger had the opportunity to design two schools for children with special needs – the Leeway School in Sayville (an ARCHI winner in 1993), and the New Interdisciplinary School in Yaphank. Between 1999 and 2007 Roger also served as a Trustee of the Leeway School. He served as the Vice President of the Board of Education of Bayport-Blue Point Public Schools between 1994 and 1996, and as a President of the Kiwanis Club of Sayville from 1989 to 1990. 

Roger has had the wonderful opportunity to teach at his alma mater, New York Institute of Technology, School of Architecture and Interior Design in Old Westbury, where he has taught a new generation of designers on subjects that are close to his heart; classes such as Building Construction, Project Integration, or Professional Practice. In 1984/1985, as an Adjunct Professor, Roger taught design- and construction-focused courses at SUNY Farmingdale, Department of Construction and Technology.  

Having a great desire to watch his firm flourish and his lifetime work continue onward, Roger’s daily role in the firm’s operations culminated in 2018 when six new partners – all longtime BBS employees – were elevated into leadership roles; they continue successfully at the helm of BBS today. Since the transition, Roger has assisted the new team where and when needed – he is always there to mentor, advise, and share his vast knowledge with the next generation of BBS designers as they work together to achieve project goals established by clients and their communities. This state of integrity and commitment to ‘quality in everything you do’ is something that is deeply inherent to everything that Roger has achieved throughout his career. He has been successful in embedding this mindset in the BBS culture and design approach, specifically, when related to the firm’s educational work. A direct validation of this unhindered, long-term strive for quality in architecture, today Roger received the AIA Architectural Achievement Award from AIA Long Island- recognizing his life-long ability to consistently produce extraordinary architecture and quality designs.

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