Denegri Bessai Studio


Denegri Bessai Studio was established in 2013 by partners Tom Bessai and Maria Denegri. The studio is built upon a rich history of collaboration. The work has won numerous design awards, and has appeared in a range of local and international publications including Toronto Life, the Globe and Mail, Canadian Architect, Azure and Plan Magazine. Projects in the studio are carefully developed through an iterative design process that combines experimental research with engaged client consultation. Extensive material testing and prototyping is a constant factor in the design work of the studio and is accomplished through the use of state-of-the art computation and fabrication techniques. This experimental practice model is supported and enhanced through teaching and research at the Daniels Faculty of Architecture at the University of Toronto alongside allied partners in academia and industry.


Maria Denegri and Tom Bessai


Maria Denegri OAA, MArch (UPC, Barcelona), BArch (UBC), BA (UBC)

Maria Denegri holds a Master of Architecture and Urban Design from the UPC, Barcelona and a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of British Columbia. Before founding DB Studio, she worked with diverse architectural practices in Vancouver, Barcelona, Los Angeles and Toronto. Maria‘s design work and research integrate innovative sustainable solutions.
Maria has been an adjunct faculty member at the John. H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture since 2002. Since 2008 she has coordinated the Daniels Faculty Global Architecture Program in Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Tom Bessai OAA, MArch (UCLA), BArch (UBC), BA (U. Alberta)

Tom Bessai has been a professor at the John. H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture at the University of Toronto since 2001.  Between 2008 and 2011 he was director of the BA Architectural Studies Program. He is principal of Denegri Bessai Studio Architecture and Urbanism with partner Maria Denegri having previously worked with numerous recognized architects including Frank Gehry.   Tom’s teaching and research focus is on design computation and material systems.  He recently completed an advanced Master of Science in Material Systems at the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan where he explored bending-active equilibrium structures through combined physical and computational testing.
Tzoline (Sol) Ternamian, MArch (UOFT), BArch (Ryerson), LEED AP


Alexia Hovis, MArch Candidate (UOFT), BA (UOFT)

Past Staff

Shea Gouthro
Andrea Norris
Duncan Sabiston
Andre Almeida
Chansoo Byeo
Luísa Cassol
Billy Chung
Federica Costa
Dave Freedman
Ehran Holm
Francesca Joyce
Leon Lai
Omri Menashe
Sávio de Oliveira
Sophia Panova
Regina Park
Andrea Pisanu
Dave Reeves
Alexis Schneider
Sonja Tijanic
Nicole Tomasi
Evan Wakelin
Cheryl Wan
Alex Warwick
Raquel de Vargas
Hamza Vora
Edith Yu