Paul de Ruiter
PDR Luuc 03 3000

Luuc Sonke


“As I see it, architecture is basically about serving society and bringing people together.”

Hoping to learn how to use architecture to fulfil this objective, Luuc enrolled at the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture following his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. But he was soon craving more conceptual instruction, and switched to the Sandberg Institute to earn a master’s degree in interior architecture before returning to the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences to complete his master’s degree in architecture, graduating in 2018.

Luuc: “I’ve always been fascinated by physical structures and wanted to make things you could see and touch, which is why I chose civil engineering. But then I did an internship at Herman Hertzberger, and was introduced to the intellectual and cultural aspects of architecture. I was hugely inspired by all the discussions about how people navigate in physical space and the factors that can affect this, and it was through these discussions that I learned that my creativity and interests would be better served if I devoted myself to architecture. What followed was an exhaustive and intellectually stimulating education.”

Luuc combined his studies with on-the-job training at various architectural firms, including NEXT architects and Korth Tielens Architecten, joining the experimental practice of Müller van Tol once he’d completed his Master in Architecture. There he worked on the spatial design of the Volkshotel and the Unseen Festival of photography, among other projects. He joined Paul de Ruiter Architects in 2020, drawn by the firm’s commitment to sustainability and user-centred design.

“I’m fascinated by issues concerning the way people relate to the built environment. What they do in response to their physical surroundings and how space and the environment affect this behaviour. I find that these dynamics are well understood at this firm. It’s designs are full of smart ideas that encourage activities that are good for us, such as moving about and interacting with others. And things like well-being and happiness are as important in its approach as sustainability and circular design. All of which ties in with my own beliefs about architecture’s role in society.”

Luuc was recently awarded a grant by the Stimuleringsfonds (Creative Industries Fund NL) to study the effect of social and technological development on the way people operate in physical environments. His research has thus far yielded a variety of physical objects, such as furniture and spatial models. Besides his work as an architect and researcher, Luuc also teaches at his alma mater, the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture.