Kerstin Thompson

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Kerstin Thompson is an Australian architect, born in Melbourne in 1965. She is the principal of Kerstin Thompson Architects (KTA), a Melbourne based architecture, landscape and urban design practice with projects in Australia and New Zealand. She is also Professor of Design at the School of Architecture at Victoria University of Wellington, Assistant Professor at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT University) and is closely linked with other schools of architecture and professional institutes in Australia and overseas. Her architectural approach leans towards the realm of urbanism: how architecture interacts with, and relates to, what is around it, that is how it establishes a relationship between the building and people and various elements in the built environment – architecture and landscape architecture, the building and the street, figure and ground.[1]

Personal life[edit]

QV Pod H
QV Pod H, Melbourne, Australia.

In 1986, Kerstin Thompson at the age of 21, travelled to Italy in hope to further her knowledge of the architectural world; beginning her work experience in the Milan studio of Matteo Thun. Upon returning from her overseas travels in 1987, she completed her Bachelor Honours Degree at RMIT in Melbourne, Australia in 1989. The overpowering sensation of possessing such a fresh framework of educational knowledge compelled her to hold back her career as a practicing architect and become a lecturer in Architectural Design at RMIT from 1990-1994. In 1994 Kerstin Thompson established her own architectural firm, Kerstin Thompson Architects (KTA), which deals with architecture and urban design projects. The firm has since established itself as a significant and innovative reference point in Australian architecture and urban design.

Kerstin embodied her own creative ideas and identity into how her architectural firm approached their work, speculating upon architecture as a strategic design in general housing contexts and drawing connections of space as a portrait of the people that occupy it. KTA has their own distinctive traits associated with their work which includes the interest in the connection between building relationships with much larger idea of site and environment. This idea of perceiving a building not as an object of isolation, but how it relates and operates in a much larger system, is a predominant theme played throughout their projects.

After 4 years in the industry, she went back to her studies and completed her Masters in Architecture at RMIT. From 2004 until the present, she has successfully been managing her role of principal of her architectural firm, while also being a member of the Federal Government’s BEIIC Advisory Committee. She was the Creative Director for the highly successful 2005 RAIA National Conference and also one of the Creative Director’s for Australia’s 2008 Venice Biennale exhibition.

Notable projects[edit]

Napier Street Housing
Napier Street Housing, Napier Street, Fitzroy, Victoria.
  • QV Pod H, Melbourne, Australia, 2002–2004
  • Hallam Bypass Sound Walls, Hallam, Australia, 2003
  • West Coast House, Apollo Bay, Australia, 1999
  • Long Life Loose Fit Building for RMIT Technology Estate, Bundoora, Australia, 1998


  • 1993
CHASA refereed design award for Lorne House.
  • 1996
RAIA Merit Award for Webb Street House.
  • 1999
Seppelt Contemporary Art Award for Environmental Design,
RAIA Harold Desbrowe Annear Award for West Coast House,
RAIA Merit Award for James Service Place.
  • 2002
RAIA Residential Multiple Award for Napier Street Housing,
Commercial Dulux Color Awards, Ah Mu Restaurant, Melbourne,
Grand Prix Dulux Color Awards, Ah Mu Restaurant, Melbourne,
Victorian Coastal Award for Building and Design for House at Lake Connewarre.
  • 2003
RAIA Harold Desbrowe Annear Award for House at Lake Connewarre.
  • 2006
Architectural Excellence in the South East Awards, Best Public Project, Visitors Centre, Royal Botanical Gardens Cranbourne, Victoria,
RAIA Architecture Awards (Victorian Chapter),
Residential-New Award Architectural Excellence in the South East Awards,
Chairman’s Premier Awards, Visitors Centre, Royal Botanical Gardens Cranbourne, Victoria.
  • 2008
World Architecture Festival; Warrandyte Police Station,
Internationally Short-listed Civic RAIA Architecture Awards (Victorian Chapter), Warrandyte Police Station.
  • 2009
AIA Architecture Awards (Victorian Chapter); Residential-New Award.


  • 1999
"Box of Joys", Architecture Australia Vol 88 No5 Sept/Oct.
  • 2000
"Interstitial Practices - Kerstin Thompson", Interstitial Modernism, Leon Van Schaik (ed), RMIT University.
  • 2002
"Medium Density", Architecture Australia Vol 2, March/April.
"Gradient Architectures", AD Vol 72, No2 March.
  • 2003
"Kerstin Thompson - House at Lake Connewarre, Leopold", Houses for the twenty-first century, Geoffrey London (ed), Pesaro Publishing.
  • 2004
"Melbourne rising low", AD Vol1 Jan/Feb.
"A simple gesture across a piece of land", Architecture Australia Vol 1, Jan/Feb.


  1. ^ Thompson, Kerstin. ‘Architectural themes of practice’, M.Arch. thesis. Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, 1997, no. 2, p. 2.

External links[edit]

Kerstin Thompson Architects:


  • 2011 Architecture Australia Jan/Feb – MUMA pp. 80– 85
  • 2010 Wish Magazine The Australian Dec – Woolamai
  • 2010 Backbone of a University, The Age Business, 8 December 2010
  • 1996 Architecture and Angels, Kerb Journal of Landscape – Thompson, K
  • 2004 Architecture Australia Jan/ Feb – Full Cover Feature