• 56 Citations
1981 …2020

Research output per year

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Personal profile


"I see huge advantages in combining architectural design with solid research and critical thinking, although complexity and difficulty may seem to increase to a level of insolvability. Designers really need to take a step beyond aesthetics in a narrow sense.’"

Research profile

Bernard Colenbrander’s Architectural History and Theory chair group (AHT) is based on a shared interest in the intellectual foundations of the architectural discipline. The deep roots of the architectural history domain are investigated in Eindhoven, especially in so far as they relate to design issues that are still relevant. The same is true for the related domain of architectural theory, which delivers the concepts along which designs are generated. A special interest within AHT is for the application of philosophical ideas with architecture, for architectural criticism, as a device to evaluate the current trends in architectural and urban design and the contemporary design production.

The chair group AHT is also the natural basis for research into heritage issues, especially since Eindhoven was invited to house a Unesco chair concerning this important societal issue. The scope of the research done by AHT is international and increasingly global, but it is also based on confidence in the cultural specificities typical for the European conditions in general and the Netherlands in particular. The range of AHT, including combined issues of history, theory, criticism and heritage, has proven to be relevant directly to the academic practice of design. This has resulted in a special interest in possible combinations of research and design.

Academic background

Bernard Colenbrander graduated from the University of Groningen in 1982, where he also defended his PhD in 1999, titled The Dispersed City. In 1983 he became archival curator at the Nederlands Documentatiecentrum voor de Bouwkunst in Amsterdam. Since the late 1980s he worked at the Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAI) in Rotterdam, ultimately as chief curator. In 2000, he started an independent research practice and began working for the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, where he was responsible for spatial planning policy. In 2002, he was awarded the Pierre Bayle prize for architectural criticism.

He has been professor of Architectural History & Theory at Eindhoven University of Technology since 2005.

Affiliated with

  • Chairman Architecturalia, since 2003
  • Board member Sikkens Foundation, since 2005 

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Bernard J.F. Colenbrander is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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A Future for Post-war Housing

Colenbrander, B. J. F. & Havinga, L. C.


Project: Research direct

Research Output

Atlas Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie

Brons, R. (ed.) & Colenbrander, B. J. F. (ed.), 2009, Rotterdam: Uitgeverij 010. 208 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook editingAcademic

Nieuw Roombeek : Enschede na de vuurwerkramp

Colenbrander, B. J. F., 2003, Rotterdam: Uitgeverij 010. 63 p. (Kroniek van de wederopbouw; vol. 1)

Research output: Book/ReportBookProfessional

Limes atlas

Colenbrander, B. J. F. (ed.), 2005, Rotterdam: Uitgeverij 010. 208 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook editingProfessional

Frans van Gool : leven en werk

Colenbrander, B. J. F., 2005, Rotterdam: NAI010. 287 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBookProfessional

De verstrooide stad

Colenbrander, B. J. F., 1999, Rotterdam: NAI010. 326 p.

Research output: ThesisPhd Thesis 4 Research NOT TU/e / Graduation NOT TU/e)


Architecture Overpowered

Bernard J.F. Colenbrander (Speaker)
25 Oct 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesKeynote talkScientific

Koninklijke Nederlandse Oudheidkundige Bond (External organisation)

Bernard J.F. Colenbrander (Chair)
1 Jun 201931 Dec 2021

Activity: Membership typesMembership of boardProfessional

Hosted lunch talk between representatives of ICAM and the Association of Architecture Organisations

Bernard J.F. Colenbrander (Speaker)
12 Sep 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesPlenary talkProfessional

History and Theory in Dutch Architecture Education Today

Sergio M. Figueiredo (Organiser), B.J.F. Colenbrander (Participant), Herman van Bergeijk (Participant)
5 Apr 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesWorkshop, seminar, course or exhibitionProfessional

The Architecture Museum Effect, Oase 99

Bernard J.F. Colenbrander (Speaker)
1 Mar 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesPlenary talkScientific


Architectural and Urban theory

1/09/15 → …


The Built-up Heritage Over Time

1/09/15 → …


Student theses

(Sustainable) reconstruction of World Heritage property

Author: Fuhren, R., 31 Dec 2011

Supervisor: Colenbrander, B. (Supervisor 1), Roders, A. (Supervisor 2), Veldpaus, L. (Supervisor 2) & Bierman, J. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master


Aan wat vooraf ging: een analoge interventie bij een bestaand gebouw

Author: Göritzlehner, L., 30 Jun 2010

Supervisor: Colenbrander, B. (Supervisor 1), Rapp, C. (Supervisor 2) & van Wesemael, P. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master


Achter de gevel: de ruimte van het woonhuis aan de Amsterdamse gracht

Author: Gijsen, S., 31 Aug 2011

Supervisor: Colenbrander, B. (Supervisor 1) & van Hoof, J. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master


A courtyard house in a field: material, the start of design

Author: Ma, W., 31 Aug 2013

Supervisor: Schevers, J. (Supervisor 1), Voorthuis, J. (Supervisor 2) & Colenbrander, B. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master


Addicted!: ontwerp van een binnenstedelijke verslavingskliniek

Author: Krusemann, G., 31 Dec 2014

Supervisor: Bekkering, J. (Supervisor 1), Colenbrander, B. (Supervisor 2) & van Hoof, J. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master