Endemic Architecture


Endemic Architecture is a full service, California based practice led by licensed architect, Clark Thenhaus. The name, endemic, holds double meaning for us; First, it expresses our concern for local conditions, contextual circumstances, environmental sensitivity, and attention to nuances that different project sites entail. Second, it suggests an interest in disciplinary, or architecture-specific, expertise concerned with architectural form, material assemblies, architectural theories, and how architectural ideas are represented through drawings, models, images, and built & unbuilt buildings. Our intentions, then, are to design distinctive buildings that foster meaningful relationships between a project’s local circumstances and architecturally discursive ideas.

Yet, there is a third interpretation to the office namesake; your personal story—what’s inherent to you. We believe that buildings receive, contain, and tell stories. Most often those stories come from our client’s personal histories, lived experiences, ambitions, and interests. Thus, we understand the design and construction process to be a small part in a much longer personal story in which architecture offers a physical manifestation of. At the same time, we are committed to an approach to architecture that might at first seem to yield unconventional results. However, we are interested in creating buildings that we call “almost familiar” ... certainly not run of the mill cookie cutters, yet also not completely abstract or alien, but rather projects that fit in the margins of the conventional. To this end, we are often exploring new expressions for familiar building elements —like chimneys, roofs, porches, columns, and windows—or by manipulating familiar geometries—like spheres, cones, cylinders, and cubes. We’ve found this to be an effective technique for creating distinctive yet personalized, familiarish, and memorable buildings.

Perhaps said another way Endemic Architecture;
1 . seeks to create architecture that we call “almost familiar”;

2. seeks to enrich experiences by eliciting curiosity and delight;

3. prefers buildings with mixed meanings rather than fixed messages or singular narratives;

4. celebrates local conditions while maintaining a commitment to the social & cultural dimensions of architecture;

5. maintains a commitment to expanding architecture’s received histories, theories, representations, voices,  techniques, & stories.

Endemic Architecture has been the recipient of numerous awards including three Architect’s Newspaper Best of Design Awards.  While not all of the work shown on our site is built, it is all rooted in research or design experimentation oriented towards commercial practice.


Endemic Architecture offers full design services on custom design projects. This includes feasibility, conceptual design & imagery, complete drawing sets with all needed code notes, annotations, technical drawings & details for permits and construction, full project material specifications, construction administration, consultant coordination, and project management beginning with our initial meeting and extending through the end of construction. In addition to architectural design, we often do the interior design and hardscape design, but also welcome the opportuity to work with your own interior designer and landsape architect. 

We often collaborate or partner on projects with Hewitt Consulting Group, a strucutral & civil engineering office, which streamlines your project’s architectural design and engineering services. 

Similarly, we have relationships with many contractors who we can recommend for project bids and/or assist you in finding one for your project. 

For additional information and a complete project list, click here.


(P) 303-548-7806
(E) Info@EndemicArchitecture.com
2424 Blanding Ave. Suite 205
Alameda, CA. 94501

Clark Thenhaus
(E) Clark@endemicarchitecture.com

Clark Thenhaus is a licensed architect (CA. & CO.) and a tenured professor of architecture. He is the recipient of the 2015 Architectural League Prize and often publishes & exhibits ideas on the topic of architecture. He earned his Master of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied as the Fideli Fellow, and a Bachelor of Environmental Design from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Nicolette Zader
Office Coordinator
(E) Nicolette@endemicarchitecture.com

Nicolette Zader assists with contracts, office coordination, & early-stage client communication and is also the first critic of all our work in the early design stages! 

Kyle Troyer
(E) Forthcoming

Kyle Troyer is a designer, adjunct instructor, and Master or Architecture graduate from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was the recipient of numerous graduate student awards including the Dales Travelling Scholarship.  Kyle also holds a Bachelor of Architecture and Environmental Design from Kent State University. 

Many talented people have contributed to Endemic Architeture, and I am personally grateful for the experiences working with Claire Leffler (2022), Daniela Ibarra (2020-2021), Nate Wesseldyk (2015-2020 ), Maya Annotti (2018), Rajah Bose (2018), Sofia Anastasi (2015-2017), Brian McKinney (2015-2017), Mitchell Price (2016 - 2017), Trenton Jewett (2016), Taylor Metcalf (2016), Sarah Herlugson (2016), Gina Bugiada (2016), Nate Oppenheim (2013-2015), Tyler Smith (2013-2015), Alexandra Bernetich (2014-2015), Ryan Doidge (2013-2014), Samantha Okolita (2014), Danielle Tellez (2014), Paul Mitchell (2012), Kae Donahue (2011-2015), and Adam Steinbach (2012).

Copyright, Endemic Architecture 2023