timbre \ˈtam·bər \ noun

the unmeasurable quality of a sound that reveals the source of production and distinguishes it from other sounds of the same pitch and volume; the color of a sound.


How does timbre relate to design and architecture?

In music, the word timbre describes an unmeasurable quality of sound that makes it unique. The the visual realm lacks a synonymous word; all descriptions of space are quantifiable attributes such as volume, height, and adjacency. We are interested in exploring the experiential aspect of space.

Why is this important?

According to the EPA, the average American adult spends 93% of their time indoors - that’s over 22 hours per day! We are often unaware of how these built environments affect us psychologically, and what an important role they play in our lives.

Who is Timbre Architecture?

We are an architecture and design studio based in Oakland, California. Our experience ranges from residential remodels to commercial and community projects sited across the Bay Area and farther afield. We are a multi-faceted design team coming from architectural backgrounds with diverse experience in education, non-profit development, construction, and fine art. Because we have such a wide range of skills, we believe that we bring a more holistic approach to our work as designers. We enjoy a collaborative design process amongst our design team as well as between client and architect.

What are our Values?

At Timbre Architecture, we believe good design should be accessible to everyone. We are committed to working in partnership with our clients and communities to create sustainable, site-specific solutions that foster meaningful interactions between people and their environment. In a word, buildings should help people thrive. 

The Team


Bridgett Shank

Bridgett is the founder of Timbre Architecture. Since her childhood she has dreamed up houses and sketched out floor plans to perfect the layouts. She pursued these dreams by majoring in architecture at the University of Cincinnati and later a master’s degree from the California College of Arts. After all her years of education and practice she now feels her design ability has become substantially more informed, and her sketching techniques enhanced by the digital age. Outside of the office, Bridgett has been known to dedicate significant amounts of time to organizing things, traveling the world taking photos without people in them, and to skating around a derby track in circles with the Oakland Outlaws.

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Aaron Lim

Aaron is an architect and native of San Francisco where he developed a passion for architecture at an early age building pillow forts on the weekends and drawing spaceships in class. After an introduction to the profession in high school, he went on to study the craft at The Cooper Union in New York and for a year abroad at The Bartlett in London graduating with a professional degree in architecture. Since graduating, Aaron has held many jobs in art and design, but finds himself returning to architecture time and again to satisfy his original passion for the built world. Outside of architecture, he maintains a jewelry practice where he creates minimal and elegant designs informed by architecture. 


Kristin Murtagh

Kristin is the founder of the interior design firm Early Girl Studio. Her interest in architecture and design was ignited while studying fine art photography at Mason Gross School of the Arts in New Jersey. She began to explore how architecture frames and captures experience much like the lens of a camera. She later earned a Masters of Architecture degree from California College of the Arts, subsequently working with prominent Bay Area architects and designers before starting her own practice. Outside of the office, Kristin is active in the arts as a photographer and printmaker. In addition, she is the mother of a curious and energetic baby, a gardener of early girl tomatoes (a bright, flavorful, and reliable crop), and an avid coffee drinker in cafes all over the world.