Born in Thessaloniki in 1811 to a well off and well-connected family, Kaftantzoglou migrated to Marseille (Greek: Μασσαλια) with his parents to escape the revolution and there he began his studies. Later, he moved to Rome to continue his studies. By 1840, his work was well known and 1841 he was invited to manage the design and construction of the "Metsovio Polytechnio". He completed his duties successfully and later also taught at the Polytechnic.
He continued to work as an Architect but very few of the buildings he designed are still standing. The Metsovio Polytechnio buildings and the old Arsakio are still standing, the Zappion has been modified, the "Megaro Merlin" was demolished in 1962. He was also involved in the design and construction of Churches, in Athens, Agios Konstantinos and Agia Irene, and in Patras the Church of Agios Andreas. In Athens he completed the design of the Catholic Cathedral of Saint Dionysus of Areopagus.