about us

DERMAN VERBAKEL ARCHITECTURE is an architecture and urbanism firm based in Tel Aviv, practicing in the US, Europe and the Middle East. Our work ranges from urban design, urban planning, landscape architecture and public buildings to housing, commercial and interior design as well as academic research. Our work includes the urban renewal of the city center of Tiberias in Galilee, a Masterplan for the Manshiya neighborhood between Tel Aviv and Jaffa, the urban renewal of the central street of the Druze town of Majd’al Shams, the offices of the Belgian Embassy in Tel Aviv, the city of Ramat-Gan’s central square with underground parking, an urban design plan for Bat-Yam’s central Boulevard, Ha’Riviera Seaside Art Gallery and “On the Way to the Sea”, an interactive public space for the Municipality of Bat-Yam which has gained international recognition and was published worldwide.


Our office was established in New York in 2001 by architects Els Verbakel and Elie Derman, after developing a winning design proposal for the international design competition Europan 6. In the same year we were among the recipients of the Venezuela National Architecture Award for a disaster relief proposal in the state of Vargas. In addition, our office received the Israeli Design Award both in 2012 and in 2013, and was nominated for the prestigious Condé Nast award for Innovation and Design in London. Our work has been exhibited in New York, France, Rome, Barcelona, Rotterdam, Belgium and Israel and published worldwide in leading architecture and design magazines such as A+, The Architect, Metropolis, AD Magazine, Dezeen, Archdaily and more.


We are committed to providing the highest professional standards placing availability and continuity as the first priority in a one-to-one relationship with our clients. Every single project receives our maximum personal attention in which understanding program requirements, project demands and site parameters together with the client form an important point of departure. Our approach is based on providing flexible design tools allowing for clients to be part of the design process and to control project budgets.


Els Verbakel, Ph.D., M.Sc., Arch., Eng. is founding partner of Derman Verbakel Architecture and the Head of the GraduateProgram in Urban Design at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design Jerusalem. She has taught architecture and urban design at Technion Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning, Columbia University, Princeton University, Pratt Institute, the University of Leuven. In 2013 she published the book In Search of the Public. Notes on the Contemporary American City, in 2008 she guest-edited a special issue of AD Magazine titled Cities of Dispersal and in 2007 she published the book Constellations: Constructing Urban Design Practices. Els obtained a PhD in Architecture at Princeton University, New Jersey, a Master of Science in Architecture and Urban Design from Columbia University, New York,

a Postgraduate in Urban Design from the Polytechnic Institute of Catalunya, Spain and a Masters in Civil Engineering and Architecture from the University of Leuven, Belgium. Els was born and grew up in Belgium before moving to Barcelona. She has lived for six years in New York before moving to Tel Aviv.


Elie Derman, M.Sc., Arch.,

founding partner of Derman Verbakel Architecture, is a licensed architect in Israel and has lectured at the Masters Program in Urban Design at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem and at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa. He has taught architecture and urban design at Pratt Institute, New Jersey School of Architecture, and Colman College. His work and writings have been published in architectural journals worldwide and was exhibited at several occasions, such as exhibitions at the Erets Israel Museum, the Old Townhall Gallery in Tel Aviv, and publications in AD Magazine, New Urbanisms 6 and Urban Life. He obtained a Bachelor of Architecture Degree at Bezalel

Academy of Art and Design (Jerusalem, 1998) where he graduated with excellence and a Master of Science in Architecture and Urban Design at Columbia University (New York, 2001), where he received the Excellence in Design Award as well as the Lowenfisch Prize for Best Final Design Project. Elie was born in Canada and grew up in Israel. He has lived for six years in New York before returning to Tel Aviv.