Daily digest: Deborah Berke Partners renames to TenBerke, India’s first flagship Apple store, and more

Not Far From the Tree

Daily digest: Deborah Berke Partners renames to TenBerke, India’s first flagship Apple store, and more

Foster + Partners adds to its international roster of Apple flagships with a timber-tiled store in Mumbai. (Courtesy Foster + Partners)

Happy Tuesday! AN continues a busy news week with updates from New York, Los Angeles, Mumbai, and Illinois, including coverage of a firm renaming, Southern California housing news, an Apple store opening, and the fate of a historic White Castle.

Deborah Berke Partners renames to TenBerke

New York–based architecture firm Deborah Berke Partners is now TenBerke. “The number ten speaks of multiples and unity, a reflection of the creative collective who form TenBerke,” the firm said in a statement. The firm sees the name change as better-suited for its goal of designing for “meaningful and sustainable change.”

The firm also announced two new partners: Aaron Plewke, an architect and design leader, and Damaris Arias, the firm’s comptroller. Later this year, TenBerke’s hybrid-cross-laminated-timber residential buildings at Brown University will be completed, and in 2024, the firm’s expansion to the University of Arkansas Fine Arts Campus is slated to open.

Los Angeles mayor Karen Bass announces a new housing plan for homeless Angelenos

Continuing her focus on providing housing for homeless individuals, Los Angeles mayor Karen Bass announced a $250 million expansion of the city’s Inside Safe program in her first State of the City address. The program, announced in December, 2022, will move homeless individuals into hotel and motel rooms in order to “prevent encampments from returning.” 

The announcement is part of a $1.3 billion plan to invest in housing and homeless services in a yet-to-be-approved budget that will be in place July 1. The city, which is currently under a state of emergency on homelessness, only saw its homeless population rise under the previous mayor, Eric Garcetti. City staff members are also working to finalize 3,000 city-owned properties that can be used for housing, and working with the City Attorney, will be preserving and maintaining 2,000 housing units that can no longer be managed by the Skid Row Housing Trust.

interior of an Apple store
1,000 ceiling tiles line the ceilings of Mumbais flagship store.

India’s first flagship Apple store, designed by Foster + Partners, opens in Mumbai

Featuring an intricate timber-tiled ceiling and glass facade, the Foster + Partners–designed Mumbai Apple store has opened as India’s first flagship location. Featuring a ribbon-cutting attended by Apple CEO Tim Cook, the 20,000-square-foot store, located in Mumbai’s high-end business district of Bandra Kurla Complex, opened yesterday. This project builds on Foster + Partners’s portfolio of Apple stores including Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, and Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

The store is bounded by an 8-meter-tall (78-foot) glass facade, which glazes the double-height ground floor and stainless steel staircase. Visitors can proceed to a cantilevered mezzanine level and upper level, which is open to views of the store’s landscaped exterior surroundings. The store’s ceiling was built with 450,000 individual timber elements, including 1,000 tiles assembled from oak. The culminating lattice pattern was inspired by Mumbaikar cane and rattan weavers. 

A historic Indiana White Castle will be preserved

The longest operating White Castle building in the Chicago metro area will have a new home at the Illinois Railway Museum (IRM). The chain, founded in 1921, began operating its Whiting, Indiana store in 1935. The building was slated to be replaced by a new store, and preservation-minded volunteers at the IRM saw a home for it as part of a project to construct a typical 1950s Midwest main street on the museum’s site.

Founded in 1953, the IRM is the country’s largest railway museum, and moved to its current site in 1964. Its streetscape project has been under construction for five years, with the museum envisioning a streetcar that will run through its center, bounded by historic facades. Museum volunteers are working with White Castle to remove the historic porcelain facade tiles from the Whiting location, which will be rebuilt on-site at the museum. This will be complemented by a recently-completed building for the Chicago & North Western Historical Society, and a forthcoming visitors center.