Best Hybrid Design Firm

Hyphae Design Lab

The East Bay is home to many a green-minded business, but perhaps none quite like West Oakland's Hyphae Design Lab. The five-member firm's tagline — "bridging the gap between architecture and biology" — is intriguing enough, but takes on added meaning when you see what these folks can do. Impeccable design and engineering skills, a penchant for innovation and problem-solving, and a deep-rooted dedication to long-term sustainability inform much of their work — like the 2,500-gallon rainwater collection tank they helped design for a customer in the Berkeley hills last year. It was Berkeley's first-ever permitted rainwater system designed for indoor use, but just another highlight for Hyphae's portfolio. More recently, the firm has taken the lead in developing an innovative series of curbside swales designed to capture and filter storm-water runoff in West Oakland. All in a day's work, it seems.

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