Paul De Ruiter Interview
Paul de Ruiter is a Netherlands-based architect and spearhead of Paul de Ruiter Architects. His practice was founded in 1994 and since then, him and his team have been committed to producing sustainable work.
Who are you?
I am Paul de Ruite, a Dutch architect.
What do you do?
I design innovative and sustainable architecture since 1992 and I am the director of Paul de Ruiter Architects. With a young, motivated team of architects, engineers and specialists we build the world of tomorrow.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Rhenen, a rural area on top of the only hill in the Netherlands looking out over the Rhine and the forest. The freedom of uninterrupted playing in nature shaped my imagination and creativity.
When did you take your first big risk in life?
When I started my own architectural company in 1994 with only 2 years of work experience gained at UN studio. Back then I already felt very strongly that architecture and sustainability are inseparable.
However, at that time no other architectural firms shared my believe so I started my own company to realize beautiful and sustainable buildings.
Why have you persisted with the path you’re currently on?
Back in the 1990 it was already evident that a sustainable society is necessary to make the planet livable for mankind. Today it is even more evident that this path is the only way to have a meaningful future.
Who is someone you’d love to work with, but can’t?
I would love to work with Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, to create an even more sustainable society together. I guess we can’t because of our busy schedules.
What are you working on now?
I currently work on multiple projects, for example on a new training centre and hotel for cruise company Carnival Corporation and on a super sustainable hotel in Amsterdam called Hotel Amstelkwartier.
For this project, we aim to receive the first LEED Platinum certificate in Europe. Furthermore, we’re building a European military airbase in Eindhoven and two multifunctional education buildings for both Erasmus University and the University of Applied Sciences in Rotterdam.
Where do you spend most of your free time?
At home with my girlfriend and our 5 boys.
What do you think is your biggest success so far?
My biggest success so far must be the realization of the energy neutral headquarters of TNT in 2009. In 1992 I started my PhD called The Chameleon Skin with the hypothesis that buildings should be energy-producers instead of energy-consumers.
This visionary idea became reality with the TNT building in Hoofddorp. This achievement redefined my idea about success because it made me aware of the fact that a sustainable vision and financial reality run parallel.