Ben van Berkel studied architecture at the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam and at the Architectural Association in London, receiving the AA Diploma with Honours in 1987.
In 1988 he and Caroline Bos set up an architectural practice in Amsterdam, extending their theoretical and writing projects to the practice of architecture. The Van Berkel & Bos Architectuurbureau has realized, amongst others projects, the Karbouw office building, the Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam, Museum Het Valkhof in Nijmegen, the Moebius House and the NMR facilities for the University of Utrecht.
In 1998 Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos established a new firm: UNStudio (United Net). UNStudio presents itself as a network of specialists in architecture, urban development and infrastructure. Current projects include ‘FOUR’ a large-scale mixed-use project in Frankfurt, STH BNK by Beulah in Melbourne, the Chungnam Art Museum in South Korea and the Wasl Tower in Dubai. With UNStudio he realised amongst others the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Arnhem central Station in the Netherlands, the Raffles City mixed-use development in Hangzhou, the Canaletto Tower in London, a private villa up-state New York and the Singapore University of Technology and Design.
In 2018 Ben van Berkel founded UNSense, an Arch Tech company based in Amsterdam that designs and integrates human-centric tech solutions for the built environment.
Alongside his practice, Ben van Berkel has lectured and taught at many architectural schools around the world. From 2011 to 2018 he held the Kenzo Tange Visiting Professor’s Chair at Harvard University Graduate School of Design, where he led a studio on health and architecture. Central to his teaching is the inclusive approach of architectural works integrating virtual and material organization and engineering constructions. In 2017, Ben van Berkel also gave a TEDx presentation about health and architecture. He is also currently a member of the Taskforce Team / Advisory Board Construction Industry for the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.