School of Architecture, CUHK
CROLLA, Kristof

Prof. CROLLA, Kristof (高仕棠)

Assistant Professor

MArch (AA)
Ir-Arch (UGent)

Rm. 402, AIT Building, CUHK

3943 6592


Kristof Crolla is a licensed architect who combines his position as Assistant Professor in Computational Design at the Chinese University of Hong Kong with his architectural practice “Laboratory for Explorative Architecture & Design Ltd.” (LEAD).

After graduating Magna Cum Laude as Civil Architectural Engineer at Ghent University in 2003, he practiced in Belgium at Bureau Buildings & Techniques and independently designed his first built project, House for an Artist. He moved to London in 2005 to attend the Architectural Association School of Architecture, London (AA)’s Master of Architecture program Design Research Laboratory (DRL), from where his student work was exhibited at the 2006 Venice Architecture Biennale. Following this he worked for several years as Lead Architect for the Pritzker prize winning Zaha Hadid Architects, while teaching in parallel at the AA and other institutions worldwide. He founded the International Workshop Series (IWS) which organise workshops worldwide exploring digital design and fabrication in architecture. He is a PhD Candidate at RMIT University (Melbourne), School of Architecture & Design, Spatial Information Architecture Laboratory (SIAL), and has been invited as a jury critic, lecturer and tutor in numerous institutions throughout Europe, Asia, Chile and South Africa.

Kristof Crolla is currently based in Hong Kong where his practice and research received numerous design awards and accolades. His work focusses on the impact of integrating computational power in early architectural design stages. He is best known for projects “Golden Moon – 2012 Mid-Autumn Festival Lantern Wonderland”, and “ZCB Bamboo Pavilion”.

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Research Interests

  • Computational Architectural Design
  • Digital Fabrication and Construction
  • Architectural Geometry
  • Craftsmanship


Crolla, K. and Fingrut, A. “Building Indeterminacy Modelling – Computational Design And Low-Tech Construction Of A Hong Kong Bamboo Grid-Shell”, Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Computing in Civil and Building Engineering (ICCCBE 2016), 8 pgs. Osaka, Japan, July, 2016

Crolla, K. and Ip, T. M. V. “Indeterminacy in designing large-scale bending-active bamboo grid-shells – a Hong Kong case study”, Proceedings of 7th annual Symposium on Simulation for Architecture and Urban Design (SimAUD), London, 2016, pp. 257- 264

Crolla, K. and Fingrut, A. “Protocol of error: The design and construction of a bending-active gridshell from natural bamboo”, Proceedings of Living Systems and Micro-Utopias: Towards Continuous Designing – 21st International Conference on Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia, The Association for Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia (CAADRIA), Melbourne, 2016, pp. 415 – 424

Williams, N.; Crolla, K.; Prohasky, D.; Burry J.; Leary M.; Brandt M.; Xie M. and Seifi H. “Challenges of Scale in Modelling Material Behaviour of Additive-Manufactured Nodes”. Paper presented in the Modelling Behaviour – Design Modelling Symposium Copenhagen 2015, organized by Design Modelling Symposium Copenhagen 2015, 7 pgs. Copenhagen, Denmark

Prohasky, D.; Williams, N.; Crolla, K. and Burry, J. “SmartNodes: ‘Light-weight’ Parametric Structural Design Process with BESO”. Paper presented in the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) Symposium 2015, organized by International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) , 12 pgs. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Crolla, K. “The strategic appropriation of performative geometries and local craftsmanship – Case study of a competition design entry “. Paper presented in the DADA2015 Digital Factory: International Conference on Digital Architecture, organized by Weigo XU, Weixin HUANG, 10 pgs. Shanghai, China, 2015.07.04

Crolla K. and Williams, N. “Smart Nodes, A system for variable structural frames with 3D metal-printed nodes”. ACADIA 2014 Design Agency: Proceedings of the 34th Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture ed. by David Gerber, Alvin Huang, and Jose Sanchez. pp.311-316. Los Angeles, USA: ACADIA/ Riverside Architectural Press, 2015

Crolla, K. “9394.06km – Twin Design Research Studios”, HKIA Journal – Issue 68, Hong Kong, July 2014.

Crolla, K. ‘Building Simplexity – Golden Moon, 2012 Mid-Autumn Festival Lantern Wonderland.’ In F. Gramazio, M. Kohler, S. Langenberg (eds.), Fabricate– Negotiating Design & Making, gta Verlag, Zurich, 2014, pp.22-29.

Crolla, K. 万灯喜月:数字化设计遇上传统技艺. Golden Moon: Digital Design Meets Traditional Craftsmanship 《Architectural Journal 建築學報》. 中國北京: China Association for Science and Technology, 2014.12.01.

Crolla, K. ‘Golden Moon: Digital Control Meets Craftsmanship’. In GAM.10 – Intuition & the Machine, Graz University of Technology,Graz, 2014

Crolla, K. ‘Building Simplexity – The expansion of digital design into “contractor space”’. In W. Huang, Y. Liu, W. Xu (eds.), Digital Infiltration & Parametricism: Proceedings of the DADA2013 International Conference on Digital Architecture, 2013, Tsinghua University Publishing House, Beijing, 2013, pp. 30-40.

Crolla, K. ‘Golden Moon – Hong Kong 2012 Mid-Autumn Fetival Lantern Wonderland’. In R. Stouffs, P. Janssen, S. Roudavski, B. Tunçer (eds.), Open Systems: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia (CAADRIA 2013), 2013, The Association for Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia (CAADRIA), Hong Kong, and Center for Advanced Studies in Architecture (CASA), Department of Architecture-NUS, Singapore, pp. 751-754.

Crolla, K. “Golden Moon (Hong Kong, 2013)”, Landscape Architecture Journal – Vol. 01.2013, China, March 2013.
Carlow, J. and Crolla, K. ‘Shipping Complexity – Parametric design for remote communities’. In Jianlong Zhang, Chengyu Sun (eds.), Global Design and Local Materialization: Proceedings of the 15th International Conference: CAAD Futures 2013, Shanghai, China, July 2013, CCIS369, Springer-Verlag Berin Heidelberg, 2013, pp. 167-175.

Crolla, K. “Building Simplexity – The Dragon Skin Pavilion”, HKIA Journal 2012 – Issue 63, Hong Kong, April 2012

Crolla, K. “Shine Fashion Store – Building Simplexity”, HKIA Journal 2012 – Issue 64, Hong Kong, July 2012

Research Projects

Geometrically Complex Architectural Structures Produced By Large-Scale Cable Robots, 2016-2017, funded by Faculty Office of Social Science

Architectural design and building of light-weight, bending-active, bamboo shell structures for Hong Kong, using live physics engines, 2015-2016, funded by Research Grants Council General Research Fund

ZCB Bamboo Pavilion, 2014-2015, funded by External Research Contract

Building Simplexity, 2014-2018, Post-graduate study at SIAL, RMIT (Melbourne, Australia)

SmartNodes, 2014-2015, funded by RMIT (Melbourne, Australia)

Advised Theses

FUNG Sin Ki, Enrica, “Choreographed Architecture: Body-Spatial Exploration,” 2016-17 (CUHK CAADRIA Student Award 2017)

CHAN Wing Chun, Frankie, “Fibrous Hut,” 2015-16

TONG Hei, Oscar, “Ephemeral Tether,” 2015-16

LAI Wing Yan, Grace, “Machine for Escapism,” 2014-15

NG Kei Yiu, Alex, “Adaptive Ornament,” 2014-15

AU Man Ying, Anita, “Inflatable Architecture for Political Projects,” 2013-14

Honours and Recognitions

HKDC Design for Asia Awards 2016, Silver Award, for ‘ZCB Bamboo Pavilion

Hong Kong Green Building Centre, Green Building Awards 2016, Research and Planning Category, Merit Award, for ‘ZCB Bamboo Pavilion

World Architecture Festival, Berlin, Germany: Small Project of the Year 2016, for ‘ZCB Bamboo Pavilion

RMIT, Melbourne, Vice-Chancellor’s Prize for Research Impact 2016 – Higher Degree by Research

2016 A&D Trophy Award, Architecture & Design Awards Asia-Pacific, Best of Category: Architecture (Professional) – Green or Sustainable Build, for ‘ZCB Bamboo Pavilion

Japanese Institute of Design Promotion, G-Mark 2016, “GOOD DESIGN BEST 100”, for ‘ZCB Bamboo Pavilion

2016 Successful Design Award, Most Successful Design Award, SPACE category, for ‘ZCB Bamboo Pavilion

HKDA Global Design Awards 2016: Hospitality & Entertainment Space – Hong Kong Best Award, for ‘ZCB Bamboo Pavilion

HKDA Global Design Awards 2016: Hospitality & Entertainment Space – Judges’ Choice Award, for ‘ZCB Bamboo Pavilion

HKDA Global Design Awards 2016: Hospitality & Entertainment Space – Gold Award, for ‘ZCB Bamboo Pavilion

Architizer 2016 A+Award Special Mention, Typology Categories | Cultural: Pavilions, for ‘ZCB Bamboo Pavilion

Architizer 2016 A+Award Finalist, Plus Categories | Concepts: Architecture + Sustainability, for ‘ZCB Bamboo Pavilion

Architizer 2016 A+Award Popular Choice Award, Plus Categories | Concepts: Architecture + Engineering, for ‘ZCB Bamboo Pavilion

Architizer 2016 A+Award Jury Winner, Plus Categories | Details: Architecture + Wood, for ‘ZCB Bamboo Pavilion

Asia Pacific Property Awards 2016-2017 – 5 Star Award for Best Leisure Architecture Hong Kong, for ‘ZCB Bamboo Pavilion

Commendation Entry in the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority Arts Pavilion Design Competition for the West Kowloon Cultural District (i.c.w. ESKYIU Ltd.)

Golden Pin 2014 Design Award – Best Design Award, category: Interior Design, for ‘Golden Moon

Liget Budapest Competition – Hungarian Museum of Architecture & Photo Museum Budapest: 3rd Place in International Design Competition for two museum complexes
2012-13 A’ Design Award – ‘Platinum A’ Design Award’ – Category: Architecture, Building and Structure Design, for ‘Golden Moon

Asia Pacific Property Awards 2013-2014 – 5 Star Award for Best Leisure Architecture Hong Kong, for ‘Golden Moon

WAN 21 for 21 Award 2013 – Commended Entry

2013 Successful Design Award China – Gold Award, for ‘Golden Moon’
Interior Design – Best of Year 2013 – Honoree in the category ‘Installation’, for ‘Golden Moon

2013 Perspective Award – category: Institutional / Public Space, for ‘Golden Moon

Hong Kong Mid-Autumn Festival ‘Gold Award’ in the Lantern Wonderland Design Competition 2012 (i.c.w. Adam Fingrut), for ‘Golden Moon

Hong Kong Designers Association Global Design Awards 2011, ‘Excellence Award’ – Category: Spatial, Retail, for ‘Shine Fashion Store’ (i.c.w. NCDA Ltd.)

Perspective ‘40 Under 40’ 2012 – Architecture Award, recognising the next generation of design talent 2012

2012 Design for Asia Award – ‘Bronze Award’ – Category: Environmental Design, for ‘Dragon Skin Pavilion‘ (i.c.w. EDGE Laboratory for Architectural and Urban Research, Technical University of Tampere, Finland)

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