James Biber is an architect and partner in the firm Biber Architects, based in New York.
Early life and education
Biber was born in New Rochelle, New York He attended Cornell University, studying Biology before receiving his professional degree in Architecture in 1976. Upon graduation James received the Matthew DelGaudio Award in total design and the Shreve Fund Award, as well as the James Eidlitz Traveling Fellowship, on which he traveled in Europe for 6 months.
Biber spent his early career at Paul Segal Associates, becoming the Senior Associate and leaving in 1984 to establish James Biber Architect. Notable projects include the Gotham Bar and Grill (designed while at Paul Segal Associates), Mesa Grill, Bolo Bar and Restaurant, restaurants that helped launch the careers of Alfred Portale and Bobby Flay. Biber’s firm practiced in a studio that included Carin Goldberg, a renowned graphic designer whom he married in 1987, and the illustrator/designer Gene Greif who died in 2004.
In 1991, the international design firm Pentagram Design invited Biber to join as a partner in the New York office as the first architect in that office. He joined graphic designers Paula Scher and Michael Bierut shortly after they became partners, along with established partners Woody Pirtle, Peter Harrison and founder Colin Forbes. Other partners in New York office of Pentagram included Luke Hayman, Michael Gericke, Abbott Miller and Lisa Strausfeld.
Notable buildings and projects
Biber’s career has included the design of the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, 2008; oceanfront houses in Montauk, NY; a restoration of the 1934 Sten-Frenke house in Santa Monica, by Richard Neutra; along with projects at Celebration, Florida; store, suites and lounges in the Arizona Cardinals Football Stadium (by Peter Eisenman) in Phoenix, Arizona; Headquarters for the Muzak corporation in Fort Mill, SC.
He designed the iconic Needle and Button kiosk for the Fashion Center BID in New York's fashion district; a pop-up restaurant for the James Beard Foundation, JBF LTD; the Public Gallery at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research; the Visitor's Center for Philip Johnson's Glass House in New Canaan, CT; sets for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart; the Macaulay Honors College at CUNY; and the JEHT Foundation headquarters.
Biber’s work has appeared in numerous books and articles including “Houses of the Hamptons," by Paul Goldberger, "Restaurants that Work," by Martin Dorf, Articles in The New York Times'", The New York Times Magazine, New York Magazine, Architect, Architectural Record, Blueprint, Metropolis, Metropolitan Home, Interiors, Interior Design, I.D., Fast Company, Business Week, The Wall Street Journal, Wallpaper and dozens of other international publications. His work is featured in 3 of the books on Pentagram Design, "Pentagram: the Compendium", "Pentagram Book Five" and "Profile: Pentagram Design" as well as in "Pentagram Paper 38: The Russian Garbo". Biber is currently working on a book of Ideas for New York.
Awards and recognitions
James Biber was elected to the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows in 2004. A member of the AIA, NCARB, US Green Building Council, The Architectural League, The Storefront for Art and Architecture and other professional design organizations. He has received awards recognizing his projects from the AIA, SEGD, AIGA, Business Week IDEA Awards among others. James Biber is a LEED accredited professional (LEED AP).
- AIGANY/Small Talk No. 5: James Biber
- "The Pentagram Papers" in Inc. Magazine
- Pentagram: Announcing Biber Architects
- Biber Architects: About
- "Recounting Modernism" in Architectural Record
- Cardinals Stadium on ESPN.com
- A Restaurant with a Shelf Life
- Houses of the Hamptons on Amazon
- Restaurants that Work on Amazon
- "The Next Starbucks" in Architect Magazine
- Montauk Compound in Architectural Record
- "What Comes After Modernism?" in Metropolis
- Harley-Davidson Museum in WSJ
- Montauk Residence in Wallpaper
- Pentagram Papers 38:The Russian Garbo
- 100 Ideas for New York
- Biber Architects official website
- Article on Pentagram at Inc.com
- James Biber talk announcement at AIGA.com
- James Biber designs hometheater at coolhunter.co.uk
- James Biber designs Daily Show Set on BusinessWeek.com
- Reprint of Pentagram Paper #38, The Russian Garbo on blog/Pentagram.com
- Newark Gateways Proposal on Pentagram.com