TenBerke is a New York-based architecture studio united by values. We are bound by the promise that architecture must build toward dignity and decency, that the truest measure of good design is the good that it does the world. And that it must be good in these ways: imaginatively, sustainably, delightfully.
We believe that architecture is never an end itself. It is a tool that turns what we have into what we need. Our projects lead to outcomes: the beneficial ways people use our spaces; how our buildings prompt agency; and how our projects connect us meaningfully to time and place, and to one another. We design projects to be the instruments of meaningful and sustainable change.
We design intentionally, with equal parts intelligence and creativity. We design boldly and are not afraid to lead our clients to dream big. For us, this means work that is not only idealistic, but also effective, navigating a nuanced path between the world as it is and the world as it might and must be. This is what gives our work its authenticity, complexity, grit, and texture, impactful at first glance and delightful over time.
Our work has sometimes been described as minimalist—understated, restrained, precise, calm—and we’re happy with that. Because we believe in our stewardship of resources: that we must do the most with the least. But we also believe in work that is beautiful and memorable, so we work in a design language not of austerity or ruthless efficiency, but of precise focus.
When Deborah Berke started our practice, the firm’s first works were for artists reinhabiting industrial buildings to live and work in. The creative imprint of that artistic and collaborative community is still with us today and continues to guide our practice, especially our interest in regenerative and repurposed architectures, adapting old buildings for renewed use. From this history comes the creativity and authenticity of our work.
Deborah has dedicated her career in equal measures to education and practice. She has been Dean of the School of Architecture at Yale since 2016. At Yale, she has worked to make architectural education more accessible and affordable to people from diverse backgrounds, and to create a culture at the school that is inclusive and welcoming, where everyone can succeed. We maintain this ethic of inclusion in our work: from the buildings we design to make more sustainable communities, to our own community of practice.
Our work is driven by a sense of purpose and promise.
TenBerke is a name we invented to reflect our creative community and collective intelligence.
For more than twenty years, we have hosted exhibitions in our studio to support artists. The relationship is symbiotic. We provide a platform for the artists; their creativity enhances our studio environment. In many occasions, the Artist Program leads to future collaborations and referrals. In parallel, we also host talks and events for writers, performing artists, academics, and critics. All these voices enliven our practice and enrich our work.
Juan Pablo Baene