Isaac Kalisvaart

Isaäc Kalisvaart

Edward P. Bass Distinguished Visiting Architecture Fellow

Isaäc M. Kalisvaart, a Dutchman, has been a real estate developer for most of his professional career. He obtained his master’s degree in civil engineering at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands and a MBA at INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France. After working for several years as a civil engineer primarily in the Middle East, he moved in 1988 to the United States and developed initially resort and residential properties in the Caribbean ( a.o. Hyatt Regency Aruba) and the Pacific Northwest (Claremont in Portland, The Valley Club in Sun Valley, Idaho, Broken Top in Bend, Oregon) and later urban projects like Hoyt Street Yards, a large urban mixed use development in Portland’s Riverdistrict.

Upon his return to Europe in 2000, Mr. Kalisvaart joined MAB Development, then a leading developer in large urban mixed-use projects across Western Europe, where he became resp. managing director and CEO. After its acquisition by Rabobank in 2007, he was also appointed to the Executive Board of the Rabo Real Estate Group from which he resigned late 2013. Examples of projects include the Westergasfabriek, a historic gas factory and now a mixed use cultural hotspot in central Amsterdam; Oosterdokseiland (ODE), a €800 million mixed-use transformation of a former postal facility, also located in central Amsterdam; and Palais Quartier, a €1,2 billion transformation of a former Telekom facility in central Frankfurt into a mix of office, shopping, hospitality, and cultural functions.

He has worked with many well-known international architects, most recently with Rem Koolhaas on De Rotterdam, a 1.6 million square foot mixed use building in Rotterdam. Mr. Kalisvaart is professionally inspired by the physical transformation of the public domain, deal making, and architecture. He resigned from his company at the end of 2013 and now serves on the supervisory and advisory boards of several European companies (including Neinver in Spain, Consolis in France), all with real estate, retail or construction related activities. Furthermore, he is participating in several start-ups and development projects.

Mr. Kalisvaart loves the visual arts and music and has been serving on many juries and boards. He currently is the treasurer of the executive board of the Dutch Sculpture Museum “Beelden aan Zee” in The Hague and a member of the supervisory board of the National Maritime Museum. He is also the chairman of the board of ONSbank, a non-profit institution assisting young people in escaping the vicious circle of problematic debt. He was the 2013 Distinguished Bass Fellow of the Yale School of Architecture and the European Real Estate Person of the Year, awarded by Vastgoedmarkt in 2012. His hobbies include, next to the visual arts, running, skiing, good wines, and sailing. Mr. Kalisvaart lives with his wife Francien Valk, a sculptor, in the dunes close to Amsterdam.

Delft University of Technology


Spring 2024
Advanced Design Studio: RAI Reimagined
Isaäc Kalisvaart, Bjarne Mastenbroek, Andrei Harwell, Erik Go
Spring 2020
Advanced Design Studio: The Opera House of the Future
Francine Houben, Isaäc Kalisvaart, Ruth Mackenzie, George Knight