Kristjan Nielsen


BEng MSc Eur Ing FEANI
Associate Kristjan Nielsen joined Whitby Wood in 2023, after 15 years’ experience with structural engineering consultancy practices, working on an impressive portfolio of projects across four continents. Kristjan is our parametric design guru. He is based in our Milan office, though his flair for optimising structures before and during construction is benefitting projects throughout the company.

Kristjan brings value to his projects through innovative and multidisciplinary solutions, informed by his knowledge of architectural design history combined with exceptional parametric modelling, computational design and automation skills. He is passionate about creating software for structural engineers that enables the streamlined development of efficient designs — he is the inventor and main developer of the GSA Grasshopper plugin.

He knows clients are looking to parametric design to boost project sustainability, leading to significant savings in materials, and believes it is never too soon to begin refining a concept. He sums up his philosophy by saying, “the power of parametric optimisation lies in its use during the early stages of the design process. It is then that important parameters can be challenged and changed to optimise buildings, unlock these savings to deliver holistic design and sustainable architecture.”

Kristjan enjoys working closely with architects and stakeholders, leading the design team and managing large-scale multidisciplinary projects, primarily in the early stages. His previous experience includes leading the structural engineering for East Side Tower in Berlin, Germany (with architect BIG); design co-ordination for Patrik Tower in Moscow, Russia, and Grand Canal Museum in Hangzhou, China (with Herzog & de Meuron). He also project managed the Nobel Center in Stockholm, Sweden (with David Chipperfield), structures for Amazon fulfilment centres in Germany and Spain, and a residential tower project in Mumbai, India. His UK projects include Brunel Building, London; Brentford Community Stadium, London; Maggie’s Centre, Southampton; and Rain Pavilion, Oxford.

Other notable projects include Al-Rayyan Stadium, Doha; Antwerp Provinciehuis, Antwerp, Belgium; Hermès Miami Concept Store, USA; Qatar Shenzhen Vanke Tower, Xiamen Airport (competition) and Shanghai LuJiaZui Exhibition Centre, China; Grand Stade de Rugby FFR Paris, Chartres Expo and Halle Modulable Calais, France; Kaliningrad Stadium, Russia; Canadian Motor Speedway, Fort Erie, Canada; Astana Airport, Kazakhstan; Tesla Gigafactory Berlin, Germany; Bahrain Pavilion, Expo2020, Dubai; and Jorge Chávez International Airport, Lima, Peru.

TEL +44 (0)20 7442 2216