"Architecture means much more to me than making a living. Great design demands your love, passion and complete dedication."
Mark Spijkerman joined Paul de Ruiter Architects in 2020, having decided 15 years before that this was where he was meant to be.
“I’m fascinated by technology, and Paul de Ruiter Architects have always been ahead of the game in developing technological solutions to meet the challenges of sustainable architecture. It’s an innovative mindset that really resonates with me.”
After graduating in architecture in 2006, Mark moved to Barcelona to work as a structural drafter at Alonso Balaguer y Arquitectos Asociados, and was soon appointed right-hand person to one of the firm’s partners.
“I had to learn Spanish before they hired me, and I managed it in record time. They were really impressed by this and promptly began offering me more and more opportunities to do some actual designing.”
This went on for two and a half years, during which he worked on various ambitious projects that included a ski resort, an exhibition centre, a bodega and a stadium, and by which time he knew he’d found his calling. He returned to the Netherlands in 2009 to receive formal training as an architect at the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture.
“At the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture, you basically live and breathe architecture seven days a week for four years. And practical experience is a major part of the course, so you’re building your portfolio all the time. I spent time at Claus en Kaan Architecten and Puur Plus Designers, among others, and went on to work at NEXT Architects and Moke Architecten after graduation.”
One of Mark’s aims at Paul de Ruiter Architects is to deepen his understanding of the way technology can help improve sustainable architecture. He brings this interest to bear on the various projects he is attached to, which have included a major housing project in Utrecht and the transformation of an office building in Emmen into a residential building.
“I love the clean lines of the buildings, the focus on sustainability and technology, and the attention to detail that defines this practice. That and the enthusiasm and down-to-earth attitude of my colleagues, all of whom, like me, put their heart and soul into their work.”