Sustainable design as a given? For Myrna it is. With a bachelor's degree in Sustainable Architecture in her pocket, she continued her master's in architecture at the Academy of Architecture in Amsterdam, which she completed in 2022.
Myrna: “Everyone now knows the challenges facing humanity. Architects have a great deal to offer in meeting those challenges because of the enormous role we can play in making the built environment more sustainable. Our every decision can make a difference. And this is why I consider sustainability the cornerstone of design. It is the basis of our role, not the icing on the cake.”
This is a more or less perfect description of the founding principle of Paul de Ruiter Architects, which Myrna joined as an architect in 2020, and where she is a member of its taskforce on innovation. Her technical knowledge of sustainable design has been a considerable asset to the group.
“The main challenge, as I see it, is to find ways to make the standard building process circular. So the taskforce is working out how to create more sustainable buildings without having to increase your budget. A key part of the solution is to be smarter in our choice and use of materials.”
Myrna works on assignments from design to architectural detailing.
“I’m excited by every stage of the design process. And if you oversee a project from start to finish, the process is generally more efficient and the end result better. You know the project inside out and can ensure the client’s original wants and needs are met all the way through."
A former professional sailboat racer, Myrna is tenacious in achieving the best possible outcome but flexible in going about it.
“I never gave up easily when competing. The key to winning in sailboat racing is good preparation, staying focused, and thinking creatively when the unexpected happens, which it always does. No different, actually, from what’s required to produce outstanding sustainable buildings.”