Profile of Architectenbureau Paul de Ruiter, headquartered in Netherlands. Seven projects submitted by Architectenbureau Paul de Ruiter have been published on Architecture News Plus (ANP).
The keywords innovation, sustainability, identity and interaction characterize the vision of Paul de Ruiter's architectural bureau. They form the basis for our architecture, which we create using nine design strategies. You could call this a manifesto, but in fact they are the DNA of the bureau; the underlying methods that make our architecture unique.
Bringing the future closer by means of innovative architecture is our ambition - making possible what appears impossible and developing unexpected and pioneering solutions. To achieve progress, an architect must move beyond existing frames of reference and surpass the norm; breaking through processes. This means you must be proactive, involving all the parties concerned in the process right from the start, in order to expose the real needs of the customer. Inspired collaboration produces innovative architecture.
Innovative improvements are generated by the desire to achieve a higher quality of architecture. Not just in a technical or aesthetic sense, but also where functionality is concerned. Quality is not only reflected in the exterior of a building, but also to a greater extent by its internal functions. This means a healthy indoor climate, ingenious use of space and new flexibility. We therefore make substantial investments in research & development, looking for an extra dimension in the architecture - for intelligent architecture, from which people receive energy, both literally and figuratively. To achieve this, an architect must have a radical service attitude.
Why? Because the strength of architecture is defined by the extent to which it satisfies the actual needs of end users, customers and their surroundings. This can only be done by listening carefully to their wishes and working together intensively. If the architect stimulates the interaction, exchange of knowledge and mutual inspiration during the design process, architecture can be enriched and buildings will be constructed in which people feel good in every respect. The building then acts as a source of energy for people, you might say. None of this is possible, though, without budget monitoring and clear agreements. It is the architect's task to manage the result in an effective way.
Buildings that provide energy and inspiration, that generate a sense of wellbeing and foster productivity; these are intelligent buildings that have a clear influence on society. They have a vitalizing effect and lead to new insights and greater achievements. For example, as an architect you are always aware of the sun and the orientation of a building in its surroundings. Daylight is so evident that it is hardly talked about. However, too little attention is paid to the total combination of daylight, heat, energy and sustainability, the value of daylight for people's health and the possibility of taking advantage of the sun.
The building as a source of energy is the result of my doctoral research The Chameleon Skin, which I started in 1992. The major hypothesis I used in this was that in the near future, buildings would become producers of energy instead of consumers of energy. Today, this hypothesis is more relevant than ever, and it is possible to achieve it with modern technology. Not only that, but buildings can be made entirely autarkic, meaning that they can function completely independently of the regular supply of electricity and water. This is not only a sustainable promise, it is also a commercial promise.
Autarkic buildings are the future - or even better, the present. It is a misconception to think that energy-saving and sustainable buildings have no architectonic qualities. Aesthetics and sustainability are not mutually exclusive. Quite the contrary. For us, saving energy is a good reason to produce innovative and inspiring architecture. To build identity.
My clear-cut view of the world is that I believe that human inventiveness and creativity can solve present and future problems in the world. For me, this means that I feel I have the capacity and therefore also the responsibility to make the world better, and this is the main driving force in my work. Architecture serves people and humanity. From this point of view, my architectural bureau tries to carry out its business activities as responsibly as possible.
Paul de Ruiter