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Since the nineties, contemporary architecture is being confronted more and more with a contradictory phenomenon that appears on all scales and working fields. Architects are asked on one hand to produce very neutral and anonymous buildings that can be changed easily, are able to react on changing economic situations and are adaptable to different programs. On the other hand at the same time, they are asked to create very specific buildings that are easy to identify, possessing pleasant form with unique spaces and can be enjoyed by the users. Atelier Kempe Thill takes this modern paradox very consciously as the point of departure of the work. The office is by this able to create structures that are neutral and economic as well as being enjoyable and innovative. By doing so, architecture is free to express the hidden vitality of our time.
The working field of the office belongs within the realms of urban planning, public building and housing, but also research, education and publishing. Given the opportunity the office enters the design process earlier than normal shifting the emphasis from just solving problems to searching for the right questions. From an early stage the office is working closely together with various technical advisors to investigate all the design possibilities and push the project to its limits. By this the office is able to offer new solutions for the spatial organization and a better detailing of the building within the given, often limited — budgets. The pleasure of designing is combined with professional management. The quality of our work is important, therefore, the office prefers to work on the basis of full commission during the whole process allowing the office to guarantee a good product.
Atelier Kempe Thill architects and planners was founded in 2000 by the two German architects, André Kempe (’68) and Oliver Thill (’71), following their Europan 5 winning proposal of three hundred dwellings in Kop van Zuid, Rotterdam. While this project didn’t result in a commission, the office survived the recession of 2002–2004 and has been able to position itself well within the European architectural scene. In the last fifteen years the practice has grown from a ‘twoman band’ to a stable, mediumsized office with around twenty five employees. The office’s range of work has systematically broadened since its foundation. Beginning with collective housing and small public building commissions, the practice portfolio has developed to include large renovation, infrastructure and urban design projects. Singlesided specialisation and the consequent limitations have been avoided through the wide diversity of commissions; as a result the practice is also more economically stable. Since its foundation, Atelier Kempe Thill has tried not to limit itself to the Netherlands, but instead establish itself within the wider European market. Through its participation in over one hundred and twenty international competitions, the office has acquired commissions in the Austria, Belgium, Egypt, France, Germany, Morocco, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Atelier Kempe Thill is becoming increasingly well known in architectural circles. In the last fifteen years the office has appeared in around five hundred publications worldwide, amongst which were two monographs. In addition, the office’s partners have given more than two hundred lectures. This professional recognition enables the office to acquire increasingly complex projects and compete with the larger, more commercial practices.
Born in Freiberg, East Germany, in 1968 and studied at the TU Dresden. He is a founding partner of the Rotterdam based firm Atelier Kempe Thill, which he directs together with Oliver Thill since 2000. André Kempe has been engaged as studio master at the Delft University of Technology and the Academie van Bouwkunst in both Arnhem and Rotterdam. He was a invited professor at the EPF Lausanne and teaches currently as a professor at the PBSA Düsseldorf. André Kempe has given more than one hundred public lectures worldwide. He was a board member of Young European Architects and is currently board member of the MONU magazine.
Born in KarlMarxStadt, East Germany, in 1971 and studied at the TU Dresden. He is a founding partner of the Rotterdam based firm Atelier Kempe Thill, which he directs together with André Kempe. Oliver Thill has been engaged as studio master at the Delft University of Technology, the Academie van Bouwkunst in both Arnhem and Rotterdam, and the Berlage Institute Rotterdam and Delft. He was a invited professor at the EPF Lausanne and teaches currently as a professor at the PBSA Düsseldorf. Oliver Thill has given more than one hundred public lectures worldwide. He was a board member of the Jaap Bakema Foundation Rotterdam and writes on a regular basis for the European architecture magazine “San Rocco”.
The office has currently about twenty employees of seven different nationalities.
Current staff: Antje Rohr, David van Eck, Jan Gerrit Wessels, Jeroen de Waal, Karin Wolf, Kento Tanabe, Kim van Kempen, Laura Paschke, Louis Lacorde, Marc van Bemmel, Martins Duselis, Nick Mols, Nynke Bergstra, Pauline Durand, Ruud Smeelen, Saskia Hermanek, Stephanie van der Hor, Teun van der Meulen en Valérie Van de Velde
Andre Boucsein, Andris Rubenis, Andrius Raguotis, Anja Mueller, AnneLaure Gerlier, Ascen Barranco, Blanca Sanchez Babe’, Blas Anton, Charline Busson, Christine Wrede, Cormac Murray, Cornelia Sailer, Daniela Bergmann, Darrin Spel, Dik Houben, Dorte Borressen, Ernst Steppon, Frank Verzijden, Freya Wisman, Giorgio Terraneo, Goekcen Temelci, Helen Webster, Hendrik Metselaar, Jeroen Heintzbergen, Jitske Torenstra, Karel Kubza, Kingman Brewster, Kuba Narloch, Marcel Geerdink, Mareike Krautheim, Marion Serre, Martin Hättasch, Michael Schwaiger, Nadja Borkowski, Paddy Siewerts, Pauline Marcombe, Peter Graf, Philip Stalbohm, Rafael Alencar Saraiva, Renzo Sgolacchia, Roel van der Zeeuw, Rookje Meijerink, Roswitha Abraham, Sebastian Heinemeyer, Sezen Zehra Beldag, Stefanie Diwischek, Takashi Nakamura, Tobias Winthuis, Thomas Antener, Tomasz Stanislawczyk, Vivianna Muscettola, Wim Bruneel, Yves Franchimon.