25 best architecture firms in Portugal
Francisco Nogueira

25 best architecture firms in Portugal

18 Aug 2023  •  News  •  By Surabhi Patil

Nestled within the southwestern corner of Europe, Portugal’s pluralistic landscape narrates an enthralling story of cultural exchange and resilience. Throughout history, the country has seen the influence of various civilizations, from the Romans and Moors, who left behind stone structures, to the Age of Discovery, when elaborate Manueline masterpieces were created. Today Portuguese architecture continues to push boundaries by exploring materials, sustainable design practices and cutting-edge concepts while honouring its rich architectural heritage.

Whether wandering through Lisbon's cobblestone streets, exploring villages in the Alentejo region or immersing oneself in the beauty of Douro Valley, Portugal offers an unforgettable and inspiring architectural journey. During the 19th century, neoclassical and romantic styles took the stage, transforming cityscapes with grand boulevards and majestic buildings like Porto's stunning Palácio da Bolsa. As Portugal entered the 20th century, modernist influences emerged that blended ideas with a deep appreciation for its past. 
Today, Portuguese architects have embraced modern concepts in harmony with traditional elements and environmentally sensitive designs, from green-roofed buildings in Lisbon to eco-resorts in the Azores. The following list is a selection of 25 architectural firms spearheading the country’s storied past and forward-looking vision.


photo_credit FG+SG architectural photography
FG+SG architectural photography

1. Mário Martins Atelier

For nearly three decades, MÁRIO MARTINS - ATELIER DE ARQUITECTURA, LDA, has stood as a prominent architectural and urban planning firm based in Lagos and Lisbon, Portugal. It boasts a devoted team of full-time employees and skilled experts who work together on a wide range of projects, covering individual residences to urban renewal and planning ventures. Displaying an awe-inspiring compilation of residential, commercial, and public structures, they have earned numerous accolades on both national and international levels, receiving acclaim through exhibitions, conferences, and publications. Guided by a profound respect for history and a commitment to cultural enrichment, MMA forges ahead into the future with ingenuity and expertise.



photo_credit Juan Rodriguez
Juan Rodriguez

2. Aires Mateus Architects

Aires Mateus Architects is a renowned architectural firm based in Lisbon, Portugal. Founded by Manuel Aires Mateus, a graduate of FA/UTL in 1986, the studio collaborates with his brother Francisco and architect Gonçalo Byrne. Their portfolio features a diverse range of residential and commercial projects that stand out for their creative manipulation of volumes, shapes, and the captivating interplay of light and voids. The firm has received numerous accolades for its exceptional work and has even represented Portugal at the renowned Venice Biennale in 2010. Alongside their architectural practice, they have also contributed to architectural education worldwide. 



photo_credit FERNANDO GUERRA | FG+SG FG+SG – Fotografia De Arquitectura
FERNANDO GUERRA | FG+SG FG+SG – Fotografia De Arquitectura

3. ARX Portugal Arquitectos

ARX Portugal is a Lisbon-based architecture office founded in Berlin in 1991 by Nuno Mateus and José Mateus. Their architectural style is unique as they tailor each and every project to its specific context. Emphasizing innovation, they constantly seek new concepts and experimental paths without being confined to rigid precepts. While the future remains uncertain, they believe in the significance of embracing the local and specific, finding solid inspiration in the things that surround them. Their work reflects a commitment to timeless relevance, as expressed by the words of António Cícero: “What is interesting, it is not much writing something new, but writing something that the reading doesn’t date it.” 



photo_credit FG+SG – Architecture Photograph
FG+SG – Architecture Photograph

4. João Tiago Aguiar, arquitectos

Following the completion of his architecture degree at Faculdade Arquitectura Universidade Técnica Lisboa, João Tiago Aguiar enriched his expertise by collaborating with prominent firms in both Amsterdam and Portugal. In 2008, he founded João Tiago Aguiar, Arquitectos, establishing a reputable and esteemed architectural firm. Situated in the lively centre of Lisbon, the firm is wholeheartedly dedicated to achieving architectural brilliance, proudly showcasing a remarkable collection of both finished and ongoing projects. In addition to architecture, they explore the realms of furniture and lighting design.  Their exceptional work has garnered international recognition, featuring in esteemed architectural magazines, books, and blogs.



photo_credit Francisco Nogueira
Francisco Nogueira

5. Bak Gordon Arquitectos

Bak Gordon Arquitectos (BGA), founded by Ricardo Bak Gordon in 2002, has a rich architectural legacy dating back to 1990. The firm specializes in residential houses, educational, and public buildings. Notable works include the award-winning Santa Isabel houses and the innovative Dom Dinis school as part of the Parque Escolar program. BGA's approach is deeply rooted in local context and features collaborations with esteemed architects, landscape architects, and urbanists. With a focus on personalized strategies for each project, their intensive drawing practice, academic research, and teaching have garnered international recognition through exhibitions and publications. The studio's dedication to individual involvement ensures a sincere commitment to every endeavour. 




6. estudio AMATAM

Estúdio AMATAM is a passionate and ambitious architectural firm that thrives on overcoming challenges. They approach each project with fresh enthusiasm, aiming to enhance their clients' original intentions and create unique, efficient, and charismatic spaces with added value. The studio's multidisciplinary team utilizes a blend of technological and empirical tools to craft integrated and sensorial solutions that respond to functional, technical, and aesthetic aspects. Their dedication to proper, contextualized, and sustainable identities for each project has earned them recognition, awards, and most importantly, client satisfaction. At Estúdio AMATAM, it's not just about the challenges, but also about the people they work with and for.



photo_credit Fernando Guerra | FG + SG
Fernando Guerra | FG + SG

7. fcc arquitectura

Fernando Coelho and Ana Loureiro founded Atelier de Arquitectura in 2002, now known as FCC Arquitectura, located in Felgueiras, Portugal. Initially focused on single-family housing and religious projects for local clients, the firm has expanded its scope to include the industrial and tourism sectors. Their geographic reach extends from north to south of Portugal and even includes projects on various islands. Throughout their growth, they have remained committed to effectively meeting clients' needs while respecting the context and principles guiding their design process.



photo_credit Joao Morgado - Architectural Photography
Joao Morgado - Architectural Photography

8. Alvaro Siza Vieira

Born in 1933, Álvaro Siza is revered as Portugal's preeminent architect, and possibly the nation's finest in history. His architectural works are celebrated globally for their cohesiveness, clarity, and what he terms "simplism" – an approach that acknowledges a project's complexities and contradictions without imposing artificial constraints upon them. Hailing from Matosinhos near Porto, Siza pursued architecture at the Escola de Belas Artes in Oporto from 1949 to 1955, with his initial design constructed in 1954. Collaborating with architect Fernando Távora from 1955 to 1958, Siza embarked on projects in Matosinhos during the 1950s. These included private residences, a Parochial Center, a Tourist Office, affordable housing, as well as his acclaimed Boa Nova restaurant (1958-63; renovated 1992) and a public swimming pool in Leca da Palmeira (1958-65). These early endeavours showcased Siza's unique ability to harmonize his designs with their distinct surroundings.



photo_credit Filip Dujardin
Filip Dujardin

9. Eduardo Souto de Moura

Eduardo Souto de Moura, born in Porto, Portugal in 1952, has established himself as a prominent architect known for his inventive use of materials and unexpected colour choices. He transitioned from art to architecture while studying under the influence of Donald Judd. After training under architects Noé Dinis and Álvaro Siza, he won a competition for the Cultural Centre in Porto, marking the start of his independent architectural career. Alongside his practice, Souto de Moura teaches at the University of Oporto and is a guest professor at various prestigious institutions. Often associated with a neo-Miesian style, he emphasizes good architecture over excessive originality and advocates for sustainable design. Souto de Moura's work showcases his deep respect for materials and his commitment to harmonizing architectural elements with their environments.



photo_credit francisco nogueira
francisco nogueira

10. fala atelier

fala is a dynamic architecture practice founded in 2013 and based in Porto, Portugal. Led by Filipe Magalhães, Ana Luisa Soares, Ahmed Belkhodja, and Lera Samovich, the atelier has gained international recognition through lectures at prestigious universities and institutions worldwide. They have extensive teaching experience and their work has been exhibited at major architecture biennials and institutions. Widely published in digital and print media, Fala's innovative projects have received critical acclaim, including the prestigious Spotlight Award from Rice University in 2020.



photo_credit Luis Viegas photography
Luis Viegas photography


PROMONTORIO is a forward-thinking architecture, planning, landscaping, interior design, and graphics firm with a team of sixty skilled professionals, led by five partners - Paulo Martins Barata, Joao Luis Ferreira, Paulo Perloiro, Pedro Appleton, and Joao Perloiro. Founded in Lisbon in 1990 as an experimental studio, it has evolved into a full-service practice, delivering remarkable projects across various sectors and countries worldwide. Their diverse portfolio encompasses a wide array of ventures, ranging from cultural institutions to housing, offices, hotels, and retail spaces, spanning multiple countries such as Portugal, Qatar, the USA, China, and beyond. The firm's exceptional prowess has garnered them international awards, extensive media recognition, and exhibitions at distinguished events and venues worldwide.



photo_credit LAURENT ARDHUIN

12. Topos Atelier de Arquitectura, Lda.

Founded in 1987 by Jean Pierre Porcher and Margarida Oliveira, Topos Atelier de Arquitectura is a multidisciplinary firm with vast expertise in architecture and territory management projects of various scales. The Atelier's production centred on principles of Integration, Simplicity, and Construction Quality, has gained widespread recognition, numerous publications, and awards both nationally and internationally. This success has enabled the firm to expand its operations across the national territory and abroad over the past 30 years.



photo_credit Do mal o menos
Do mal o menos

13. M2.senos

Established in 2007 by Sofia and Ricardo Senos, M2 Senos Arquitectos is an architecture studio dedicated to creating innovative and effective solutions in architecture, rehabilitation, and urban design. With a harmonious blend of imagination and practicality, the studio takes a hands-on approach, engaging in all project phases from conception to execution. Collaborating across disciplines, the team ensures comprehensive support throughout the process, working closely with clients and builders. Their remarkable works have garnered international recognition, featured in prominent architecture magazines and journals such as Phaidon Atlas, Dezeen, Divisare, Architizer, and Trends Magazine.



photo_credit Felipe Petrovsky
Felipe Petrovsky

14. Carvalho Araújo

Established in 1996 by José Manuel Carvalho Araújo in Braga, Portugal, Carvalho Araújo atelier specializes in architectural and design projects spanning various scales and approaches. Guided by a strategic, rational, and poetic approach, the atelier's work is characterized by the seamless integration of different disciplines. The multidisciplinary team, comprising architects, product designers, and communication experts, ensures the essence of each project remains innovative and harmonious. With a diverse portfolio, Carvalho Araújo atelier has successfully executed numerous projects not only in Portugal but also in various European countries, Brazil, the United States, and Africa.



photo_credit  José Campos
José Campos

15. Correia/Ragazzi arquitectos | Archello

CORREIA/RAGAZZI ARQUITECTOS strives for excellence by blending innovation and precision in their projects, recognizing architecture as a process of synthesis. They value the uniqueness of each work, regardless of its scale or budget, and prioritize building strong relationships based on mutual trust with their clients. Believing in the importance of understanding different cultural contexts, they aim to align their clients' desires with their professional ethics. Their projects showcase a deep understanding of factors such as site interpretation, scale, and materiality, all contributing to the quality and character of the final built form.



photo_credit Fernando Guerra | FG+SG
Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

16. [i]da Arquitectos

Based in Lisbon, Portugal, [i]da arquitectos is a dynamic architecture, urbanism, and urban rehabilitation studio founded by Ivan de Sousa and Inês Antunes, both graduates of Milan Polytechnic in 2002. With extensive experience, Inês Antunes holds a Ph.D. in Architecture from IUAV University of Venice and is currently a professor and coordinator of the Interior Design course at Cascais School of Arts and Design. Ivan de Sousa's expertise comes from working with acclaimed studios like Fuksas and Nicola di Battista in Rome. Their collaborative teaching experiences span various universities, including the Modern University of Lisbon, the University of Genoa, and the University of Cagliari. [i]da arquitectos has achieved international acclaim, winning awards in competitions like Europan 10 in Lisbon, Urban Regeneration of the Block Aurifícia in Oporto, and more. Their innovative work has also been featured in national and international publications, showcasing their creative contributions to the field of architecture and urban design.



photo_credit João Guimarães
João Guimarães

17. Rebelo de Andrade

Rebelo de Andrade atelier focuses on architecture and design projects that navigate the diverse interests involved in creating architectural work. With a deep respect for customer preferences and the impact of architecture on public life, they adhere to national and local regulations to ensure a positive influence on the quality of life. The atelier's architecture embodies ethical considerations, using materials and energy efficiently while favoring sustainability. They value history and tradition, seeking to understand the place, its stories, and the community's lifestyle to create buildings with a distinctive identity. A contemporary atelier like theirs stays attuned to global changes and employs a multifaceted team to tackle projects of any scale and location, harmonizing history, innovation, tradition, ecology, landscape, and building.



photo_credit João Morgado
João Morgado

18. Nelson Resende Arquitecto

Nelson Resende Architect is a small architecture firm based in Ovar, Portugal, led by Nelson Resende, a graduate of F.A.U.P. in 2000. With a diverse background from working with various architecture studios, Nelson brings a unique and individualistic approach to the practice. The office's philosophy emphasizes close involvement during construction to ensure the architecture truly reflects the project's vision. They advocate for an intuitive design approach, avoiding absolutes and preconceptions, valuing sustainability and eliminating paradigms. Rejecting fashion and labels, they focus on creating spaces with soul, character, and a touch of disruption to maintain interest and challenge conventions.



photo_credit José Campos
José Campos

19. depA [departamento Arquitectura]

depA is a collective based in Porto, founded in 2009 and currently led by Carlos Azevedo, João Crisóstomo, and Luís Sobral. Their expertise spans architecture and the social sciences. depA is known for its attentive approach to each project, emphasizing the dimension of time in its interventions, from interpreting existing structures to progressive spatial reintegration. Notable projects include Casa da Cultura de Pinhel, Casa do Rosário, and Pavilhão do Lago, which earned them prestigious awards. They actively participate in competitions, and their artistic projects challenge architectural techniques and encourage cross-disciplinary conceptualization. depA's work has been exhibited internationally, and they were selected to curate the Portuguese representation at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition at La Biennale di Venezia with the In Conflict project in 2020.



photo_credit Fernando Guerra
Fernando Guerra


Established in 2005, Marlene Uldschmidt Studio is the creative outlet of German architect Marlene Uldschmidt. With a passion for delivering solid and high-quality projects, Marlene's work is characterized by a seamless integration of abstract ideas into tangible realities. Influenced by her artistic background and family legacy, she combines a sculptural approach with an innate sense of style and an appreciation for materials and textures. Her specialization in restoration reinforces her belief in preserving the essence of original works as the foundation for new creations.



photo_credit FG+SG

21. spaceworkers

Located in Paredes, northern Portugal, spaceworkers® is an architecture and design studio co-founded by Henrique Marques, Rui Dinis, and Carla Duarte. Their practice revolves around exploring new paradigms of contemporary architecture, aiming to establish a deep connection between form and emotions. With a pragmatic and critical approach, they create sensorial spaces that challenge conventional perceptions. Their innovative work has earned them prestigious nominations and awards, including recognition from Architizer and Archdaily for their outstanding projects like Casa de Sambade and Cabo de Vila House.



photo_credit Francisco Nogueira
Francisco Nogueira

22. António Costa Lima Arquitectos

António Costa Lima Arquitectos has been established since 2012-2013, emerging from L Arquitectos and continuing the legacy of former partner António Costa Lima. The multidisciplinary atelier excels in various sectors, striving for efficient and high-quality creative solutions that ensure complete customer satisfaction. Their services encompass Architecture, Sustainable Arch., Interior Arch., Rehabilitation, Urban Planning, Design, and Brand Image. Additionally, António Costa Lima Arquitectos offers Technical Analysis, Topographic Surveys, Property Valuation, Feasibility Studies, Concept Development for Real Estate and Resorts, and Work Supervision, among others.



photo_credit Ivo Tavares Studio
Ivo Tavares Studio

23. RVDM Arquitectos Lda

Founded in 1997, RVDM, arquitectos is a dynamic firm that specializes in housing, hotels, equipment buildings, and interior design. Their portfolio includes remarkable projects such as ORIZZONT, Santa Catarina Fortess, House in Bela Vista - Costa Nova, Aradas House, CASA NAS SALINEIRAS, Corisco Houses, House in Palhaca, and Arriva Guimaraes. Their expertise lies in crafting innovative and functional spaces that cater to the unique needs of their clients.



photo_credit Duccio Malagamba
Duccio Malagamba

24. NOARQ - Jose Carlos Nunes de Oliveira

NOARQ is a forward-thinking architecture office that embraces attention, reflection, and creative responses. Their practice is grounded in realism and critical thinking, allowing them to push the boundaries and deliver innovative solutions. Established in 1998, NOARQ has evolved into a dynamic space for research, creation, and production through drawings, encompassing land, architecture, and everyday objects. Based in Trofa while maintaining strong roots in Porto, the studio continues to embrace a hands-on approach to design and thinking.



photo_credit João Morgado
João Morgado

25. Tiago do Vale Architects

Tiago do Vale's architecture is characterized by an informal and unconventional approach, rejecting rigid adherence to architectural styles or movements. Instead, the focus is on the relationship between the built environment and life itself. The practice values critical thinking, genuine responses, and a deep connection to the cultural context of each project. Rather than imposing preconceived notions, Tiago do Vale's designs seek to enhance and extend the existing merits, history, and techniques of a building or empty space. By embracing this rehabilitative mindset, the practice aims to create architecture that is a cohesive part of the broader cultural landscape rather than isolated and self-referential.


The selection curated by the Archello editorial team is based on a combination of the amount of featured projects and the views they generated.