Ernstjan Cornelis (1963) joined atelier PRO in 1993. From 2004 he was director finance and operations and business development.   
After 25 years with atelier PRO, Ernstjan Cornelis made a career switch to KCAP Architects and planners in Rotterdamas to become managing director as of 1st January 2019.

To ensure the business continuity, in 2019 Ernstjan will be available to atelier PRO for one day a week to hand over and finalise affairs.


According to Ernstjan we do not have a lot of empty buildings, they are just waiting for a new destination. His focus on construction, finance and organisation has also led to important innovations within atelier PRO. Ernstjan introduced the process of working with Building Information Modelling (BIM) and developed it within the practice. New working relationships were established between the client, consultants and contractor whereby all partners jointly work in a BIM model. Here, every step in the design process is integrated, testable and transparent to the decision makers; this helps ensure that the project goals are efficiently realised according to the budget and deadline. BIM not only plays an important role in the design and construction phase but especially in the long period during the building’s operations. As a BIM specialist, Ernstjan utilises this process to shape open concepts into concrete, practical design tools. In this way, it enables new ways of managing financial objectives such as investment- and operational costs, and implementing sustainable building measures for passive building and the Frisse Scholen program. Nationally and internationally, this led to the design of several acclaimed buildings that are significant to the community.

After finishing his studies at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment at TU Delft, Ernstjan worked at architecture offices in Amsterdam and London. At atelier PRO he has worked as the project leader on buildings such as the Dutch embassy in Kiev, Ukraine where he supervised the construction on behalf of the client. In 2003, Ernstjan completed an MBA at the University of Twente. His research examined the changing role of the architect within the building process and a changing economy.