André Kempe & Oliver Thill

André Kempe was born at 21st of June 1968 in Freiberg (GDR / East Germany). He studied architecture and urbanism from 1990 until 1996 at the Technical University of Dresden. During that period he had in 1993 a scholarship for urban studies in Paris at École Belleville where he did research about the Villes Nouvelles in Ile de France. In 1994 he staid in Tokyo to do research on the Shibuya subcenter, also on the basis of a scholarship.
He graduated from university in 1996. In 2000 he co – founded together with Oliver Thill Atelier Kempe Thill architects and urban planners.
Next to the activities with the office he was regularly involved in teaching. In 1999 he was studio master at the Technical University in Delft, the Academie van Bouwkunst in Arnhem and the Academie van Bouwkunst in Rotterdam. From 2014 on he was visiting professor at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale Lausanne, the Peter Behrens School of Architecture in Düsseldorf and the Technical University of Berlin. Since 2017 he is professor at the chair “Civic Design” at the Peter Behrens School in Düsseldorf.
Next to these activities André was from 2003 until 2007 board member of Young European Architects, from 2009 on board member of Monu Magazine and from 2016 on board member of Europan Netherlands.

Oliver Thill was born on 2nd of January 1971 in Karl Marx Stadt (GDR / East Germany). He studied architecture and urbanism from 1990 until 1996 at the Technical University of Dresden. During that period he had in 1993 a scholarship for urban studies in Paris at École Belleville where he did research about the Villes Nouvelles in Ile de France. In 1994 he staid in Tokyo to do research on the Shibuya subcenter, also on the basis of a scholarship.
He graduated from university in 1996. In 2000 he co – founded together with André Kempe Atelier Kempe Thill architects and urban planners.
Next to the activities with the office he was regularly involved in teaching. In 1999 he was studio master at the Technical University in Delft, the Academie van Bouwkunst in Arnhem, the Academie van Bouwkunst in Rotterdam and the Berlage Institute Rotterdam and the Berlage Institute for Advanced Studies in Architecture and Urban Design Delft. From 2014 on he was visiting professor at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale Lausanne, the Peter Behrens School of Architecture in Düsseldorf, the Technical University of Berlin, the Politecnico di Milano. Since 2017 he is professor at the chair “Civic Design” at the Peter Behrens School in Düsseldorf.
Next to these activities Oliver was board member of the Jaap Bakema foundation and from 2014 on member of the advisory board of the Academie van Bouwkunst Rotterdam.

Prototypes for a global society – in search for an objective public architecture

The ongoing process of modernization that takes place in the highly developed countries since approximately 200 years has affected architecture very strongly. Since wealth has been spread increasingly in a democratic way and capitalist time economy is ruling, budgets on buildings have been reduced relatively to the rest of all the other human activities compared to premodern centuries. Under these circumstances architecture finds itself in an unconscious and gradual process of radical objectivation and democratization as it happens to the entire western society. In the dynamic processes of constant reduction and continuous transformation of society, architecture has been reduced to its very core: the typology. All efforts that try to go beyond that basis and to reanimate ornament and decoration, heroic gestures or even a Gesamtkunstwerk are condemned to fail painfully. Architecture has to take the radical condition of our time as a positive and inspiring starting point:

What comes beyond the purely pragmatic?
What comes beyond pure logistics and the ultimate cheapness?
What lies behind the architecture consumerism, fashions and temporality?

In a radical approach of typology pur sang – in fact the subversive objectivation of the hidden forces of architecture – we see the only promising way to do architecture in the next future.

Our ongoing pragmatic age has the great potential to conceive architecture in a freer way:
no expectations,
no ideology,
no romanticism anymore.

Instead potentially an architecture as a strongly collective device, intelligent and flexible, serving the community simply as it should: a classicism for the 21st century, the most general architecture in the very positive sense of the word – beyond and within the purely pragmatic.