KAAN Architecten is a Rotterdam, São Paulo and Paris based architectural firm that operates in a global context while merging practical and academic expertise within the fields of architecture, urbanism, and research on the built environment.

Project Name: Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp
Studio Name:
KAAN Architecten
Location: Antwerp (Belgium)
Photography: Stijn Bollaert

Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp by KAAN Architecten - Sheet1
Museum Interior ©Stijn Bollaert

Led by Kees Kaan, Vincent Panhuysen and Dikkie Scipio, the studio consists of an international team of architects, landscape architects, urban planners, engineers, and graphic designers. KAAN Architecten believes in cross-pollination between projects
and disciplines as an essential tool to fostering a critical debate within the firm.

Since their launch, the office has handled and supervised a wide range of projects, actively working within the private and the public sector, with project teams that become increasingly multidisciplinary and dynamic. KAAN Architecten maintains a culture of constant evolution, which is essential in a profession that changes at a rapid pace. The Dutch firm seeks to uphold long-term relationships with its clients, consultants and partners.

KAAN Architecten’s projects transcend the traditional notions of scale and typology, ranging from furniture and interiors to urban development and from retail and offices to museums and buildings for health and education.

Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp by KAAN Architecten - Sheet2
Museum Gallery ©Stijn Bollaert

The firm expanded its international presence with satellite offices in São Paulo (2015) and Paris (2019), led by Renata Gilio and Marylène Gallon respectively. Both branches continue the multidisciplinary design approach set out by the Dutch headquarters. Kees Kaan, Vincent Panhuysen and Dikkie Scipio founded KAAN
Architecten in 2014.

From 1988 until 2013, Kees Kaan was the founding partner of Claus en Kaan Architecten. Kaan graduated at the Faculty of Architecture TU Delft in 1987. Since 2006 he has been professor of Architectural Design at TU Delft and initiator of the Complex Projects Chair, launched in 2012. The Chair’s research focuses on large-scale projects that characterize this era of rapid global urbanization.

In 2019 Kaan was appointed Chairman of the Architecture Department. Moreover, he has been Principal Investigator at Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS) since 2016. Kees Kaan is a lecturer and member of various juries and boards, both in the Netherlands and abroad. Numerous books and exhibitions have been dedicated to his body of work.

Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp by KAAN Architecten - Sheet3
Exhibition Space ©Stijn Bollaert

Vincent Panhuysen joined Claus en Kaan Architecten in 1997 and became a partner in 2002. In 2014 he founded KAAN Architecten together with Kees Kaan and Dikkie Scipio. Panhuysen began his training at the Amsterdam Technical School for Wood and Furniture Crafts, continuing his studies at the School of the Arts in Utrecht and the Rotterdam Academy of Architecture.

This unique education allows him to exercise control over the entire building process, from concept to detailing. He is a frequent international lecturer, with a focus on themes of contextuality and dialogue with the surroundings. For his special and careful guidance in the renovation of the Provinciehuis of North-Brabant, Vincent Panhuysen was awarded the “Commissarispenning”, a medal of merit from the Commissioner of the King Wim van de Donk, in 2015.

Dikkie Scipio joined Claus en Kaan Architecten in 1995 and became a partner in 2002. In 2014 she founded KAAN Architecten together with Kees Kaan and Vincent Panhuysen. Scipio studied applied arts and interior design at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague after which she was trained as an architect at the Rotterdam Academy of Architecture. Scipio’s training allows her to lead work, which ranges in scale from large-scale master plans to furniture and interior design, from initial concept to execution. Dikkie Scipio was recently appointed Professor of Architectural Design at Münster University of
Applied Sciences.

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