Caroline Bos

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Caroline Bos
BuildingsMercedes-Benz Museum

Caroline Bos (born 1959, Rotterdam) is a Dutch architect. She is a co-founder of UNStudio, a large award-winning architecture firm in Amsterdam. Bos writes, lectures and teaches architecture at various schools.[1] Her architectural drawings and models are shown at museums like MoMA.[2]


Bos received a bachelor of arts in art history from Birkbeck, University of London in 1991.[1] She later obtained a master's degree in architecture at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. It was in London that she first met her husband, Ben van Berkel.[3]


Mercedes-Benz Museum at night

Bos first worked as a journalist with husband, Ben van Berkel[4] on publications such as Forum (1985–86) and "Diagram Works" (1988).[5]

Bos and van Berkel, founded Berkel & Bos Architectuurbureau in Amsterdam in 1988. The firm designed several "critically acclaimed projects" in the Netherlands.[1]

In 1998, the name of the firm was changed to UNStudio. The decision to remove their own names from their company is very in keeping with Bos' attitude that architecture is about collaboration.[6] UNStudio has been "at the forefront of knowledge-driven architectural practice.[7] The firm consists of a network of experts in architecture, urban development and infrastructure. Bos works closely with the entire team on a project and ensures that they are working towards good ideas.[8] UN Studio promotes collaboration in order to undertake ambitious building projects.[1] This approach they call "deep planning" which takes the neighborhood and surrounding areas into consideration when planning the location of a new building.[1] UNStudio and Bos' and van Berkel's approach is "against the old idea of the master builder scribbling away on his drawings. If you've built one building, you know you are only a bit player in the whole process."[6] Bos has been called UNStudio's "secret weapon" because she was not trained as a designer and has an outsider's approach to architecture.[6] She has also been called "one of the best architects in the office."[9]

As of March 2012, the firm has a staff of 153 from 17 countries and has completed 69 projects.[10] Bos has been involved in all of these, working with the various project teams.[11][12] In the early years, Bos shares that much of their work came through architectural competitions because it was a good way for "independent and non-corporate practices to acquire a body of work."[7] Some of the major urban infrastructure that Bos worked on include the Prince Claus Bridge in Utrecht, the Netherlands and the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany.[4]

Bos has taught at various institutions including the Academy of Architecture in Arnhem, Liverpool University, the Vienna University of Technology and the Berlage Institute in Amsterdam. Together with Ben van Berkel, she has also been a visiting lecturer at Princeton University and has co-authored several UNStudio publications.[11] In 2012, she received an Honorary Professorship from the University of Melbourne.[13]

Bos likes to test preconceived notions about traditional architecture.[4] Early in her career, she likened architecture it to high fashion: "the architect will be concerned with dressing the future."[1] Bos also cites the importance of fitting infrastructure into urban surroundings efficiently and taking into account diverse users of the work.[7] As her work progressed over time she has said that urban planning isn't utilized anymore and instead have "architecture and politics."[14] She says of her work with van Berkel, "Alongside pursuing theoretical works, we sought from the beginning to build."[15]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Warren, Sylvia, ed. (2001). The Architect: Women in Contemporary Architecture. New York, NY: Watson-Guptil Publications. pp. 26–29. ISBN 0823016528.
  2. ^ "Caroline Bos". MoMA | The Collection. Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). 2015. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  3. ^ Heilmeyer, Florian. "Ben van Berkel / UNStudio" (PDF). BauNetz. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  4. ^ a b c Chen, Aric (August 2006). "Dream House". Interior Design. 77 (10): 226. ISSN 0020-5508. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
  5. ^ "Bio: Caroline Bos". The Consulate General of Netherlands, SF. 17 November 2010. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  6. ^ a b c Nobel, Philip (28 October 1999). "Toward a Future With Flair". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  7. ^ a b c Tweeddale, Anna (August 2012). "Interview: Caroline Bos". ArchitectureAU. Architecture Media Pty Ltd. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
  8. ^ Wessner, Gregory (2 February 2011). "Ben van Berkel, interview". The Architectural League of New York. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  9. ^ de Ferrari, Gabriella (Summer 2002). "Ben van Berkel". Bomb. 80. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  10. ^ "UNStudio: People" Archived 2012-03-21 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 9 March 2012.
  11. ^ a b "Ben van Berkel & Caroline Bos" Archived 2012-01-21 at the Wayback Machine, mapolis Architecture. Retrieved 9 March 2012.
  12. ^ "UNStudio - Ben van Berkel", Architonic. Retrieved 9 March 2012.
  13. ^ "Next Lecture at IAAC: Caroline Bos from UNStudio". IAAC Blog. IAAC (Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia). 24 April 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  14. ^ Bos, Caroline (Speaker) (17 November 2010). Dutch Design Week Lecture: Caroline Bos (video). American Institute of Architecture, San Francisco, CA. Event occurs at 4.44 minutes in. Retrieved 21 February 2014.
  15. ^ Kunsmann, Jeanette; Becker, Stephan (28 May 2013). "More Critically than Ever! Caroline Bos and Ben van Berkel in Conversation". Uncube. David Koralek (translator). Baunetz Media. Retrieved 21 February 2015.

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