Barbara Bestor

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Barbara Bestor
ResidenceLos Angeles, California
EducationHarvard University
Southern California Institute of Architecture
Known forBeats Electronics, Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea
Spouse(s)Tom Stern 2015; Adam Silverman (divorced)

Barbara Bestor is an American architect based in Los Angeles, California. She is the principal of Bestor Architecture, founded in 1992.[1] Examples of her work include the Beats Electronics Headquarters in Culver City,[2] the Nasty Gal Headquarters in downtown Los Angeles, Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea in Los Angeles,[3] and the Toro Canyon House in Santa Barbara.[4] In 2015 she married director Tom Stern.[5] In 2017 she was elected to the AIA's College of Fellows.[6]

Early life[edit]

Barbara Bestor grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where her father was an anthropologist and her mother was a college administrator.[1][7] She interned for Cambridge Seven Associates through college, with a study-abroad year at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, eventually graduating from Harvard University in 1987.[1][7][8] She then received a master's degree in Architecture from the Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles in 1992.[1][8][9]


Bestor began her architectural practice in Los Angeles in 1992.[1] In her early career, she renovated many private residences in the Los Angeles area.[1] She also designed the Actors' Gang theater in Hollywood with fellow architect Norman Millar.[1] In 2001, she taught architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.[1] She returned to Los Angeles a year later, in 2002.[1] She has taught architecture at the University of California, Los Angeles.[10]

Bestor has taught at the Woodbury University School of Architecture in Burbank, California, where she is also the executive director of the Julius Shulman Institute.[8][11] She was the founding Chair of the Graduate program.[8][11] In 2014, with Catherine Gudis, Thomas Kracauer, and Shannon Starkey, she curated an exhibition about the environmental graphic designer Deborah Sussman at Woodbury.[12] She has been a TEDx speaker.[11] In 2017 the exhibition Albert Frey and Lina Bo Bardi: A Search for Living Architecture, designed by Bestor Architecture, opened at the Palm Springs Art Museum.[13]

Bestor has designed private residences in Echo Park, Pacific Palisades, Mount Washington, Silverlake, Los Feliz, Topanga Canyon, and Santa Barbara.[1][10][14][15] She has also designed stores and restaurants in Los Angeles, New York City, and Tokyo.[1][10][16] In 2011, she was the recipient of the LA Restaurant Design Award from the American Institute of Architects for her design of the Pitfire Pizza in LA.[9] She was also nominated for the James Beard Foundation Award for the same restaurant that year.[9] The Floating Bungalow house in Venice, CA was featured in MOCA’s 2013 survey of contemporary Los Angeles architecture.[17] In 2015, the Beats By Dre Headquarters was recognized with a National AIA Honor Award for Interior Architecture.[18] In 2017 two new projects have opened, the Ashes + Diamonds Winery and Event Center [19] and the Silverlake Conservatory of Music.[20]

Personal life[edit]

Bestor is married to Tom Stern (director) and has two daughters from a previous marriage.[5]


  • Barbara Bestor. Bohemian Modern: Living in Silver Lake. New York City: HarperCollins. 2006. 272 pages.[21]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Emily Young, Building a Name for Herself, The Los Angeles Times, March 14, 2002
  2. ^ Zeiger, Mimi (July 22, 2014). "Beats By Dre's Splashy New Headquarters". Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  3. ^ Hodge, Brooke (May 15, 2008). "L.A. Interiors Bestor In Show". Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  4. ^ Lennon, Christine. "Grand Canyon". Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b Kimberly Stevens, House Proud: A Simple Playhouse At Cut Corners, The New York Times, March 20, 2003
  8. ^ a b c d Woodbury University School of Architecture: Faculty webpage
  9. ^ a b c Southern California Institute of Architecture: Alumni Archived December 9, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ a b c A Conversation With Architect Barbara Bestor, TheAgencyRE, July 11, 2014
  11. ^ a b c TED: OlympicBoulvdWomen: Speakers & Performers Archived December 10, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^ Christopher Hawthorne, She Loves L.A., Metropolis Magazine, March 2014
  13. ^ The Many Surprising Parallels Between the Architecture of Lina Bo Bardi and Albert Frey, Metropolis, 14 September 2017
  14. ^ Lawren Howell, What Makes Mona Moore the Coolest Shoe Store in Los Angeles, Vogue, November 4, 2009
  15. ^ Alison Cavatore, Barbara Bestor-Designed Property Listed for $3.25 Million, Haute Living, August 31, 2012
  16. ^ Erin Feher, Ladies of de LaB Dig Deep Into the LA Design Scene, California Home Design, 12/12/13
  17. ^ Hawthorne, Christopher (June 29, 2013). "Review: MOCA's revamped architecture show a model of insularity". Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  18. ^ Johnson, Sara. "Institute Honor Awards: Interior Architecture" (January 9, 2015). Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ Google Books