Shigenori “Shig” Iyama (February 16, 1927 – May 25, 1992) was an Oakland architect. His most noted work in Oakland is the Sumitomo Bank Building.

Iyama was born in Fukuoka, Japan (later one of Oakland's sister cities) on February 16, 1927, to Konzo Iyama and Ishi Asao. They came to the U.S. in 1931, but Shig's older brothers Masayuki (b. 1916) and Teruo (b. 1919) had been born in Berkeley.

Like other Americans of Japanese descent, Iyama was forced into an internment camp (Topaz, Utah) during WWII. After the war, he got his B. A. degree from the University of California, Berkeley in 1949, then worked for Jack Buchter as a draftsman. In the 1950s, he was part of (Al) Hunter and Iyama. He opened his own firm in 1961. In 1962, his office was 5359 College Avenue. 1

In 1969, Iyama had his office at 2811 Adeline Street, and was living nearby at 2722 Adeline Street.2 Later, Iyama, his wife Mary Imagawa (Iyama) and son Steven Iyama lived in Piedmont.

Iyama designed a number of modernist structures, including various churches around the Bay Area. 3,4,5

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Links and References

  1. Shigenori Iyama AIA Historical Directory
  2. 1969 Directory
  3. Sanctuary Construction Will Begin San Rafael Daily Independent Journal February 13, 1965
  4. Vallombrosa Construction Start Due San Mateo Times September 6, 1961
  5. St. Peter's Catholic Church postcard Cloverdale, CA