Solving Complex Urban Situations For Over 30 Years
For over 30 years we are known for our expertise on the development of sustainable urban living environments, with buildings, public spaces and landscapes that enliven and renew the city. The richness of what we develop is not so much visible in the expressiveness of the design, but more in the use. We don’t have the ambition to design individual landmarks, yet our designs are recognisable and usually very realistic. Working in cities and solving complex urban situations is where we feel at best. It is not about printing our own stamp, but about making our own translation. The process is our product.
Our focus areas are mostly cities in Europe and Asia and therefore we operate from our offices in Rotterdam, Zurich, Shanghai, Seoul and Singapore.
125 Professionals, 25 Nationalities
Our team consists of over 125 professionals including architects, urban designers and landscape architects of 25 nationalities from all over the world. The team is completed by a strong support team of experts in Business Development, Finance Department, Human Resources, Public Relations, Social Media, Visualisations and Office Management.
Different Backgrounds, One Direction
KCAP was founded in 1989 by Kees Christiaanse and over the years grown into a well-known international design office with seven Partners; Xavier Blaringhem, Jeroen Dirckx, Ruurd Gietema, Anouk Kuitenbrouwer, Irma van Oort, Ute Schneider and Edward Schuurmans. Together they are a group of quite different people, with differences in background and self-perception. Some are more architects, others are more planners.
Additional support in leadership comes from Associate Partners Hyeri Park (Seoul), Masha Pidodnia, Pieter Theuws, Michael Trinkner (Rotterdam), Yoo Na Ho, Andraž Intihar (Zurich), Ya Hsin Chen (Shanghai), Director Finances Eric van Rooijen, Manager Operations Coert Verkuijl, Director Frank Werner and Director Communications Bastiaan van der Sluis (Rotterdam). Ernstjan Cornelis holds the position of Managing Director.
A Free State of Mind
We focus a lot on the idea of 'Open Cities', places in which people are given opportunities and where tolerance reigns. The Open City is a place that successfully accommodates change and difference. We never treat buildings as isolated objects but part of the fine mesh of public spaces, landscapes, streets, and private realms that make up the city. The designs act as frameworks that allow individuals to flourish while supporting collective needs.
We believe this is also the best approach in our daily work environment; creating an atmosphere where we focus a lot on a low level of hierarchy, yet a high form of equality and a good life/work balance.
Collaborating for Effective Solutions
Our work is fundamentally collaborative and shaped by many hands. The success of a project relies on the engagement with stakeholders as it does on our design. We balance many different interests and find the best possible solutions. We do this together.
Throughout the process, our designs unlock the imagination of participants and involve them in the discussion. We create teams with a holistic attitude, bringing together experts who complement each other to give the best guidance to a project. Each one of them adds their specific knowledge to the project but can look beyond their field. With all expertise and stakeholders involved from the beginning, problems are detected early, and the solutions found working across all disciplines.
Our curiosity and passion for the built environment drive us to continually question and seek answers for the most pressing issues facing the city and its architectures. Teaching forms a core part of our research, with multiple partners holding appointments at academic institutions around Europe and Asia. We publish and lecture widely, maintaining an active dialogue with our profession and the general public. Research is integral to our work, informing and evolving our understanding of urban processes.
The research culture within KCAP has made us pioneers in sustainable urban development and building design, inventing new forms of residential and urban typologies. We develop computational tools to support our design processes, from software that facilitates the management of complex regulatory systems to advanced BIM collaboration and data analysis tools.