Stephane Kirkland was born in July, 1969, just outside Paris, of French and American descent.

He attended Phillips Academy Andover, from which he graduated in 1986. He studied architecture in Paris at the École d’Architecture Paris-Villemin (today ENSA Paris-Malaquais), one of the schools created to replace the École des Beaux Arts, receiving his qualification as an architect (DPLG) in 1994. He obtained a DEA (post-graduate degree) in architecture history from Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne and a post-graduate degree in urban law and economics from the Université Paris II Panthéon-Assas. He completed his French military service in the Paris Fire Department, where one of his duties was to monitor fire safety during performances backstage at the Opéra Garnier.

Stephane created an architecture firm in the Midi-Pyrénées region of south-west France, building, among other things, the extension of the junior high school of Pierrefitte-Nestalas (with Pierre Cassou), the public spaces around the medieval Nestalas church, also in Pierrefitte-Nestalas, and a park in Cauterets, the Pyrenees resort town where Napoléon III was conceived.

Stephane obtained an MBA from the Stern School of Business, New York University, in 2000. He then worked as a strategy consultant at Marakon Associates in London and Amsterdam. In 2002, he joined international energy company Centrica plc, where he occupied roles in strategy, mergers and acquisitions, and general management in London, Paris, New York and Pittsburgh until 2011. He moved back to Paris in 2012 and joined the architecture firm Caméléon3. He now shares his time between writing and practicing architecture, and also teaches urban history at the Institut d’Études Politiques in Paris (“Sciences Po”).

His paternal grandfather was Jack Kirkland, author of the theatrical adaptation of Tobacco Road, still the second-longest-running non-musical in Broadway history. His maternal grandfather was scientist Jean Coursaget, former Director of the French Atomic Energy Commissariat and President of the Curie Institute. His aunt is dancer Gelsey Kirkland.

You can contact him by e-mail at

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