Kees Christiaanse is Chair of Architecture & Urbanism in the Institute for Urban Design at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), Switzerland.
He is an architect, lecturer and researcher, and was previously a professor of architecture and urbanism at the Berlin University of Technology.
His work mainly focuses on the interface of architecture and urbanism, and on urban assignments in complex situations and guiding urban processes.
Since 2011 Kees Christiaanse is Programme Leader of the Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore and Principal Investigator as well as Module Leader for Module IV “Urban Design Strategies and Resources”.
He studied architecture at the Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands, graduating together with Art Zaaijer in 1988. His graduation project “Kavel 25” was realized as part of his urban plan for the housing festival in The Hague, a project for which he was awarded the Berlage Flag.
Between 1980 and 1989, Kees Christiaanse worked for the Office for Metropolitan Architecture in Rotterdam, becoming a partner in 1983. In 1989, he started his own firm in Rotterdam, renamed KCAP Architects & Planners in 2002, which expanded to Shanghai and Zurich. In 1990 he founded ASTOC Architects & Planners in Cologne.
He was curator of the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR) entitled “Open City: Designing Coexistence” in 2009. He is a consultant to several airports and expert in the development of university campuses and in the revitalization of former industrial, railway and harbor areas.
He was made an ‘Honorary Fellow’ by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) for 2016, for his contribution to world architecture that not only represents the spirit of his country, but transcends it, by its references and its international influence.
He was a member of the Holcim Awards jury for Europe in 2005, and a keynote speaker at the 2nd Holcim Forum for Sustainable Construction 2007 at Tongji University in Shanghai. His keynote “Sustainable architecture” observed that cities are losing their openness. He fears that the typical city is becoming a patchwork of disjointed, sterile, and partially inaccessible sectors, and argued for an understanding of the city as an open system.