Hayley Eber (b. Johannesburg, South Africa) is an architect, designer and educator. She is currently the Assistant Dean at The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union as well as the Principal of Studio Eber, an award-winning New-York based practice for architecture and design. Studio Eber (previously EFGH) was founded in 2008 and actively engages projects that seek to expand the boundaries of architecture, through the design of buildings, interiors, objects, environments and installations.
She previously worked at Diller Scofidio and Renfro in New York, where her experience ranged from temporary installation and media work, performance, architectural competitions and large scale urban projects, most notably the High Line. Prior to joining DS+R, she worked at Eisenman Architects in NY on The Arizona Cardinals Stadium and the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin and at Wiel Arets Architects in Maastricht on the Utrecht University Library.
She holds a Masters in Architecture from Princeton University School of Architecture, a Bachelors of Architecture from the Cooper Union, and a BAS from the University of Cape Town. She is a licensed architect in the state of New York. She previously taught at Princeton University (2013-19) and Columbia University GSAPP.
Projects & Links
The design of the 600 sq ft interior and storefront for the new flagship restaurant Dogmatic Gourmet Sausage System on Union Square, is based on the aesthetics of the butchery, which becomes the generative approach to the project. A 14’x4’ communal butcher-block table is the centerpiece for the space, and incorporates retractable cantilevered seating to avoid any freestanding furniture. A raised built-in banquet on the west wall overlooks the restaurant while providing the base for the Sausage Wall-of Fame. A mural describing the Dogmatic story is baked onto the ceramic tiles using a transfer toner technique. The 11’ tall vertical glass menu board screens a portion of the open kitchen, while hanging off a steel armature from the restaurant hood. Meat hooks support the lighting cylinders on tracks. The custom steel designed storefront doors pivot to allow for maximum openness and connection to the outside.
A 15’ x 15’ temporary performance pavilion designed under the restrictions of an extremely small budget and a wildly short timeline, Hedgehog hosted a lineup of diverse street performers from around the country, participating in an effort to raise money for youth homelessness. Part of Virgin Mobile’s one-day summer concert festival attended by 35,000 people, Hedgehog was designed as a modular steel frame wrapped by a spiky skin of 300 standard traffic cones and was erected in under 6 hours. The temporary nature of the concert event called for a "pop-up" architecture that turned speed to its advantage, using ready-made materials in an unexpected way. The intense repetition of the ubiquitous traffic cone, an element of the street displaced into the woods, allowed this item to overcome its usual message of danger and caution and instead promote a sense of festivity.
In collaboration with Diller Scofidio + Renfro.
While architecture’s role in reforming the prison system may be arguable, incarceration is undoubtedly a spatial issue. The prison isolates the criminal at a safe distance from the fluid space of the public and places him or her within an irreducible space deemed habitable. Punishment is calculated along a spatio-temporal matrix; the more severe the crime, the more punitive the space and the longer the prisoner is condemned to it. This punishment formula comes into question with criminal acts of ethical ambiguity. Visitors to the installation are asked to rethink the fit between crime and punishment. A touch screen is the interface for this intricate and politically charged interactive video game. Upon entering the gallery, the viewer is confronted with a LCD screen displaying a matrix of crimes selected for their severity and moral ambiguity: drug use, sexual deviance, insider trading, conspiracy, disturbing the peace, unlawful conduct, illegal immigration, etc. After a crime is selected, the screen renders an initial cell design as an interactive panorama. By pointing the screen in any direction, left-right-up-down, the view will be displayed as a virtual transparency aligned with the space beyond. As the viewer adjusts the confinement according to parameters of hard/soft, opacity/transparency and dumb/smart, the screen displays the resulting cell design in QuickTime VR. This new calculus for spatial confinement recognizes the diversity of the prison population. Thus using a one-size-fits-all shell, the cell can be customized to the individual with a series of options that accommodate isolation, privacy, social interface and access to light, fresh air, climate control, view, information and communication.
Costa Rica, 2012
A long and narrow building sited at the top of a lush green mountain in Costa Rica, this house is a porous three dimensional frame that almost disappears into the landscape. Carefully balancing abundant access to air, light and views with the need for episodes of privacy and enclosure, this house is an attenuated deck that loosely holds a few solid concrete blocks – the bedrooms and a swimming pool. Distant views to the ocean are framed by the teak structure and expansive roof. The strategic positioning of built-in furnishings and a carefully choreographed path through the length of the house promise a dynamic relationship to the site.
Van Alen Ground/Work
Competition Finalist, New York 2013
Interior = City. A microcosm of the space of the city, the new Van Alen Institute is imagined as a container for dynamic life. As an institution committed to the expansion of the definition of “public architecture” and the processes that shape the public realm, the VAI needs a home that embodies that ambition. Recognizing the dramatic proportions of the existing site as an opportunity, the proposed new Ground/ Work space turns a long skinny ground floor volume into a virtue: it maximizes the street level space, creating a single room - a large “grand hall” - that strives to reach the scale of the street, and extend the life of 22nd Street into the heart of the Institute.
Through the easy manipulation of three mobile components in the space, The Media Wedge, The Bleacher and the Hinge Table, the VAI can be radically transformed by a few employees in a short amount of time.
Chop't Creative Salad
New York + Washington DC, 2011-2014
EFGH was asked to revitalize an existing restaurant brand. The design for Chop’t is a prototype comprised of key components that will “drop in” to all future locations, becoming the new design standard for the brand. These components are both large pieces of furniture and small pieces of architecture, participating in and regulating the high volume flow of customer traffic. We’ve introduced variable speeds to the space - slow, medium and fast. Each component inserts itself along the customer’s path and produces a local environment within a larger spatial field: The Wall Peel is a wall-covering/ furniture/ signage hybrid. The Stage is a folded steel structure that wraps the existing salad equipment and is also an illuminated internal facade. The bent metal assembly acts as structural surface and provides stability to the form. The Alcove provides a room-within-a-room: softer finishes, warmer lighting and a lower ceiling provide a respite from the fast pace of the restaurant.
Flatiron Plaza, 2014
On a site surrounded by views of New York’s most iconic buildings, KaleidescApe simultaneously frames these structures in isolation, while at the same time scrambles them within the surrounding context. The faceted mirror skin operates at the scale of an urban kaleidescope, reflecting fragmented images of the buildings and cityscape in a three-dimensional abstraction of a familiar urban environment. On the “interior” side of the triangulated envelope, users are encouraged to not only view, but touch/ sit/ hug/ lay, leaving a temporary impression of their prints on the thermo-chromic surface. The installation is evocative of a crystalline structure in a winter wonderland, climatically suited to its environment, while the heat activated surfaces challenge this comfort zone. At night, the LED strip lights outline the faceted geometry while the surfaces disappear and retreat into the urban context.
Guggenheim Museum Helsinki
Competition Entry, 2014
The Guggenheim Museum embodies two major qualities that set it apart from the ever-growing field of museums around the world. First, it is a place for a grand, social experience of art and second it is a sculpture itself – invigorating and celebrating the city around it.
This proposal, obviously, breaks the rules. But it does so with the conviction that this is the most vivid, natural and civic way to bring the Guggenheim Museum to Helsinki. By locating the building in the harbor it takes center stage, focusing attention on both itself and also back toward the city surrounding it. Etelasatama becomes integral to Helsinki’s urban fabric, at its center a new jewel for the city.
Visitors arrive via ferry, ascending from the island plaza though a sequence of galleries set within a large volume. A dramatic, integrated experience of art, the spectacle of society and the city itself will define the new museum.
Brotherhood Preschool Playground
Gramercy Park, 2015
A 50’ x 20’ infill urban site is transformed into an outdoor learning and play space with custom-designed play structures and equipment that are tied into the school’s science curriculum. The 45-deg grid divides the playground into three distinct spatial zones with different programmatic possibilities intended to help develop a range of motor skills.
WINNING ENTRY FOR THE SHAKER DESIGN COMPETITION: The Shaker House
The street grid of Shaker Heights in Ohio accommodates many variations on a theme. Together these form a coherent urban fabric, which has a scale, rhythm, and atmosphere that is at the root of its reputation as one of America’s great streetcar suburbs.
This proposal respects that existing context and updates the house typology embedded within it. The exterior is recast as an elegant abstraction of the existing neighborhood pattern language, while the interior is opened up from a series of compartment-like rooms into a large loft-like space that is more conducive to modern living. The Shaker House offers a range of spaces, from the vaulted double-height main space to a series of intimate bedrooms to loft spaces above.
The house is an ultra-efficient home, conceived as a prototype that can be configured in a number of ways, adding more bedrooms, more public space or a combination of both. A range of models based on the same basic building format is envisioned, from small 2-bedroom houses to spacious 4 and 5-bedroom suburban homes.
The Shaker House is designed to work as an individual structure on a single lot between two existing houses, and also in sequences of two or three as shown in the isometric drawing. Materially, the house is conceived of as a monolithic form, using the same material for walls and roof, yet the material itself can be selected from a range of options to further integrate with the existing neighborhood fabric.