Jolien began her architectural studies in 2006 at the Eindhoven University of Technology, rounding off her bachelor’s degree with an internship at Smith & Thompson Architects in New York, where she saw a whole range of home renovation projects to completion. She continued her studies with a master’s degree in architecture, also at the Eindhoven University of Technology. She subsequently joined B+M Den Haag, where she received a solid grounding in the more technical aspects of the discipline. Jolien gained further experience at Marks Barfield Architects in London, where she got the chance to work on the commission for Europe’s first ever “eco-mosque”, and at UNStudio in Amsterdam, where she was on the team that designed and built a campus for Booking.com.
"Even as a child, I always wondered why housing developments had to be so dreary and why anyone would want to build cold and uninviting public squares, and I wanted to do something about this. I loved to draw, and I remember that I would invent and draw entire cities, complete with neighbourhoods and houses. In retrospect, what I’d end up doing was a foregone conclusion.”
Jolien’s main concern when approaching a new commission is how people will eventually experience the building. It provides the basis of many of her subsequent decisions, be that with respect to functionality or building materials, or to the many minute details of construction.
"I think it's important for buildings to manifest coherence in every respect and have a palpable beneficial effect on their occupants. I see this in the buildings produced by Paul de Ruiter. I also hear its echo in the firm’s belief that buildings only become truly sustainable when they have demonstrated their credentials over a long period of time as places in which people continue to feel comfortable.”
“Sustainability has become the latest thing, and it’s great that everyone now understands its importance, but it’s been the cornerstone of this practice since the very beginning. The eco-mosque in Cambridge was my first experience of working on a project with serious sustainable ambitions, and it was so cool. Nothing else would do after that.”
“Paul de Ruiter Architects is small enough for you to know every one of your colleagues and to preclude much in the way of a hierarchy, which makes it easy to approach anyone. The daylit space and profusion of indoor plants also make this a great place to work.”
Jolien is currently working on the expansion of Nature's Pride as well as a hotel in Hoofddorp.