Atelier Kempe Thill architects and planners was founded in 2000 by the two German architects, André Kempe and Oliver Thill, 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 seventeen years the practice has grown from a ‘two-man band’ to a stable, medium-sized 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. Single-sided 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 forty 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.