He studied architecture from 1968 to 1973 at the University of Karlsruhe with Egon Eiermann and studied abroad in 1974 at the Vienna University of Technology in Austria. He received his diploma in 1975 in Karlsruhe. After that he held a scholarship at Cornell University, New York, where he was the assistant of Oswald Mathias Ungers until 1978. Later, until 1983, he was an assistant at the Technical University of Berlin, and founded his own architectural firm, which he has run with Helga Timmermann since 1984. Since 1990 he has been Professor of Architecture and Construction at the ETH Zürich. He has also had several guest-professorships and lecture tours, both at home and abroad. His projects as an architect, in Germany and the rest of Europe, have been primarily within office-, business- and residential construction.
Hans Kollhoff's architecture is characterised by a classical building-style and the use of solid, traditional materials, such as stone and brick, worked according to traditional methods. During his career, Kollhoff has developed in the direction of a more and more traditional form, often using classical motifs. For this reason he is sometimes criticized for creating an outdated "retro-architecture", that loses itself in a nostalgic imitation of traditional formalism.
In Berlin, he has designed in Potsdamer Platz a high-rise tower in an old-New York brick style, for DaimlerChrysler. He was also responsible for the master planning of high-rise buildings on the Alexanderplatz. Among his works are also the reconstruction of the former Reichsbank into the new Foreign Office, and the so-called Leibnizkolonnaden in the district of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf near the Kurfürstendamm. In 2005 he constructed the inner rooms of the exclusive night club Goya on Nollendorfplatz, that opened on December 1 in the building where the Metropol had formerly been. In Frankfurt am Main he has erected the 88 meter tall residential building Main Plaza in the Deutschherrnviertel.
Currently, Kollhoff is president of the society for the "Bauakademie", that has as its goal to reconstruct this building by the architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel, and to let it be reborn as the "Berlin International Academy of Architecture".
- Kollhoff, Hans, Wohnen, Studentenprojekte (1999) ISBN 3-7212-0464-6
- Kollhoff, Hans, Hans Kollhoff: Architektur/Architecture (2003) ISBN 3-7913-2656-2
- Cepl, Jasper, Kollhoff & Timmermann Architects: Hans Kollhoff (2004) ISBN 1-904313-27-2
- (German) Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen, 2007. http://kuenstlerdatenbank.ifa.de/datenblatt.php3?ID=556
- (German) ETH Zurich. http://fm-eth.ethz.ch/eth/peoplefinder/FMPro?-db=whoiswho.fp5&-lay=html&-format=who_detail_de.html&who_fk_legacy=899&-find
- Ooij, Dieuwke van (19 October 1993). "Alexanderplatz vooral kleiner Hans Kolhoff geeft bekendste plein Berlijn nieuw gezicht". Trouw (in Dutch). Retrieved 17 May 2010.
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