Transform: Architecture of AdaptationDeborah Berke and Thomas de Monchaux

Price AUD$79.95 Price CAD$74.95 Price €49.95 Price £39.95 Price T60.00 Price USD$60.00

A guide to contemporary architecture practice in one of the most important fields today - the transformative adaptation of existing buildings. A manifesto and survey of contemporary practice by one of the leading offices in this domain, Deborah Berke Partners.

For over 30 years, Deborah Berke Partners has been a leader in transforming old buildings for new futures. Transform: The Architecture of Adaptation will explore and document the ecological and urban imperative to revive and adapt existing built fabric, and it will demonstrate innovative and timeless tools and methods for creating successful new architecture out of old structures and found conditions.

The book will be illustrated primarily, but not exclusively, with projects by Deborah Berke Partners, including academic buildings, boutique hotels, and community and cultural centers. Essays by Deborah Berke, Noah Biklen, Arthi Krishnamoorthy, and Alan Brake introduce each chapter. It will also include contributions by critics, planners, and artists with a shared interest in creating a sustainable, equitable, and enriching urban environment. Contributors include artist Titus Kaphar, urban history scholar Karen Seto, environmenal design leaders Atelier Ten, and photographer Christopher Payne.

The term 'adaptive reuse' is bland and imprecise. It implies a lack of rigor, as if old buildings were discarded objects that can easily be repurposed, like a turning an old milk crate into a bookshelf. Buildings - good ones, bad ones, whether designed by a famous architect, or without an author are complex things, with histories, with impacts on their surroundings, with relations to people and places. They do not all deserve to be saved, but many do. Sometimes an unremarkable building can be transformed into something better than it ever was. Even good buildings by noted architects can be improved upon, especially if their use has changed or if their context has been significantly altered.

In much of the country, particularly small to mid-sized, post-industrial cities, opportunities abound for the creative reuse of existing buildings. Deborah Berke Partners approaches these building - old warehouses, office buildings, even a historic sanatorium designed by H. H. Richardson - as material resources and as the foundation of sustainable urban redevelopment. These projects have impacts that extend far beyond their walls - this work is part of an urgent rethinking of American urbanism.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Size: 279 × 229 mm (11 × 9 in)
  • Pages: 224 pp
  • Illustrations: 250 illustrations
  • ISBN: 9781580936088

Deborah Berke is one of the most high-profile and inspiring practitioners and instructors in architecture today. She is principal of Deborah Berke Partners, with whom she has created a distinct and lasting body of work. Berke sets the creative direction for the practice and brings her design vision to each project, culminating in the firm being named to the AD100 list for its residential work in 2022. The office’s approach to architecture ― informed by its pursuit of authenticity, love for the visual arts, and intellectual rigor ― pervades its design processes and projects. In July 2016, Berke became the first woman dean of the Yale School of Architecture, where she has been a professor since 1987. She was named one of Architectural Record’s Women in Architecture Design Leadership awardees in 2021, and is the recipient of the 2022 Topaz Medallion for Excellence in Architectural Education. Berke is a fellow of the American Institute of Architects, a Trustee and Vice President of the Urban Design Forum, a James Howell Foundation Board Member, a member of the Yaddo Board of Directors, and a member of the Pritzker Prize jury. She is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design (B.F.A. and B. Architecture) and The City University of New York (M. Urban Planning in Urban Design). In 2005, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design.

Thomas de Monchaux is an architect and award-winning architec-ture critic. He teaches as an adjunct assistant professor of architec-ture at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, especially shepherding its Shape of Two Cities: New York/Paris program. His writing about design has appeared in the New Yorker and the New York Times, and in such journals as Log and n+1.