Matthijs is no newcomer to Paul de Ruiter Architects, having earlier interned at the firm as a Delft University of Technology architecture undergraduate, returning upon graduating in 2019 to take up his current position. While studying, he also spent two semesters abroad — one at the University of Melbourne and the other in connection with the Master of Architecture programme at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen — the latter followed by a brief period as a design assistant at BIG (the Bjarke Ingels Group) in New York.
“One of the most appealing things about architecture is that you’re using design to improve the built environment, and thereby touching the everyday lives of a lot of people, directly or indirectly. Furthermore, there’s a significant degree of overlap between architecture and other disciplines — interior design, landscape architecture, product design, art — which results in every project being unique in multiple ways, including their challenges. It makes the job continuously stimulating and absorbing.”
Matthijs's strengths really come to the fore when working on public buildings. He enjoys identifying the issues underlying the more immediate concerns of a project and meeting the demands of challenging briefs with deceptively simple, neatly structured and functionally coherent designs, a gratification common to all at Paul de Ruiter Architects.
“The projects in the firm’s portfolio demonstrate the synergistic relationship between sustainability and aesthetics, proving that you needn’t sacrifice one for the other. Each project is seen as an opportunity to push the boundaries of what is possible, a mindset that complements the firm’s desire to continuously innovate, something especially evident in our considerations for sustainability. This mindset resonates with me, and is among a list of things — such as the typological range of our projects and diversity of clients, and the firm’s signature style and clear vision — that make this a highly appealing place to ply one’s trade.”
“You’re involved in every stage of the design process, no matter your speciality or how recently you joined, which is highly instructive. And this inclusive approach ensures a high degree of collaboration, a constant flow of ideas and a supportive work environment, which inspires as much as it energizes and exposes you to more and more ways of understanding the process.”