Paul Vanderwal is Principal and President of Vanderwal Architects, founded in The Woodlands in 1997 as an architectural planning and design firm for financial institutions, commerce and living.
Born in The Netherlands, Paul moved with his family to the USA in 1971. Earlier, in the 7th grade, the first floor plans were rendered out of compositional variations on Mondrian. After exposure to European, Japanese and American cultures and sights, a university path was chosen out of possible futures in automotive design, photography and architecture. The latter was chosen. He still likes, and on certain days prefers, the other options.
Tulane University in New Orleans was attended, with side-studies in England. Work experience in The Netherlands, Louisiana and Texas followed, with The Woodlands his current living and workplace with wife, children, cats and dogs.
Over the past years a wide range of projects have been designed, many realized. They range from retail banks to corporate offices, park structures, athletic facilities, homes, home additions, retail, food service, museum displays, and medical, most including interiors, and landscaping concepts.
Bringing the client’s vision to reality in a team effort is the task. Integrated design of space inside and out, and connecting to the immediate surroundings, referencing the vernacular of the past, realities of present, and the potentials of the future drives the designs. Materials, technology, ambiance, aesthetics and light are the palette. Comfortable and functional spaces that enhance life at home, at play, and at work are the goal. Sculpting of space by means of light, form, texture and pattern is the means. The interplay and contrasts of using earth materials and man-made materials, each supporting and strengthening the other, and playing the moving light of the sun on the exterior and interior, forms the integration between the created and the existing environment
Clues to the solution often are to be found in the Place. Striving to touch that Place respectfully, sympathetically, and harmoniously, while creating a worthwhile architectural solution for the client and user, is the objective. Designing for a balance between function, economics, aesthetics and logistics aims to achieve lasting, timeless, and enjoyable architecture: solutions in Place that are beautiful yet sensible, and inspire and foster higher living and working potential and enjoyment. Helping people live and work in places that make them feel comfortable by bringing repose and energy through the dynamics of space and the sensory is the goal.
Designing a LEED-Certified building awakened the need and means for measured, quantified, high-performance design, construction and operation. The LEED AP exam was passed.
In 2009 the idea for a Branch of the Texas Gulf Coast Chapter to serve the communities to the north and east of greater Houston seemed a great idea to cut back on gasoline usage and travel time to Chapter meetings in Houston. With co-conspirators the Montgomery Branch was founded with Vanderwal as the first Branch Chair.
Samples of work have appeared in regional, national and international publications. Vanderwal holds Bachelor and Master Degrees in Architecture from Tulane University, and was vice-president of the AIA Louisiana Coastal Chapter. As a professional and artist he is always grateful and thankful to have been able to blur the line between work and hobby, and is thankful for the clients that come back for more, and for the mentors, friends and family that put up with him, and are his inspiration.