Location Porto, Portugal
Completion 2011
Architecture José Carlos Loureiro


Location Sabrosa, Portugal 
Completion 2012
Architecture Eduardo Souto de Moura







Location Braga, Portugal
Project 2013
Completion 2015
Architecture Correia / Ragazzi Arquitectos






Absence of display
Hans Ibelings

Suffice it to say that this is a freestanding volume containing three apartments and a communal roof terrace overlooking the Atlantic, above a commercial space on the ground floor and an underground car park.

The three units consist of west-facing living spaces with an ocean view, and bedrooms facing the small street to the east of the building. In between are the kitchens, the stairs and the elevator. An alley leads to the main entrance of the apartments; at the other side, a ramp gives access to the parking in the basement. The north and south elevations are mainly closed, while the east elevation is partially open, with deeply recessed windows to ensure privacy and to allow for small balconies. The west elevation is glazed, behind the same concrete grid as on the opposite side, offering a vertical framing of the horizontality of the oceanic panorama.

The upper storeys are set back, to scale the volume in its context. Similarly, the form is calibrated to be parallel to the street and the neighbouring building, without in any way reducing the verisimilitude of complete rectangularity.

This architecture intentionally lacks an interesting form, and comes almost without colour. There is no flaunting of exquisite materials, no suggestion of design virtuosity. The effect of this deliberate absence of display is paradoxical in a setting of fairly ordinary buildings. Surrounded by architectural unpretentiousness, this project stands out as supernormal, to adopt the powerful term of Naoto Fukasawa and Jasper Morrison. And exactly because of its supernormality, it manages to unveil the everyday charm of its neighbours, which suddenly appear to have an inconspicuous quality that otherwise may have gone unnoticed. This quality would most certainly have been eclipsed by any architecture that ostentatiously aimed at being exceptional. Conversely, this building can fully articulate its supernormality only because its surroundings are normal.

What is true for the exterior applies equally to the interior. The organization of the programme for each unit has a similar self-evidence as the external appearance. Neither interior nor exterior are conventional or standard, yet they both have a seemingly inescapable logic associated with the customary. This architecture not only suggests that nothing could be added or taken away without diminishing its beauty or logic; this also implies that these two categories overlap here. The beauty resides in the logic.




Location Porto, Portugal
Client LPSM, Empreendimento Sra. da Luz
Project 2009-2014
Completion 2016
Architecture Souto Moura Arquitectos Lda
Author Eduardo Souto de Moura
Team Collaborators André Campos, Luis Peixoto, José Carlos Mariano, Ana Patrícia Sobral, Maria Otília Aires Pereira, Susana Oliveira Marques, Rute Peixoto
Structural Engineering Rui Furtado, Carlos Quinaz, AFAconsult
Electrical Engineering Maria da Luz, AFAconsult
Mechanical Engineering Marco Carvalho, AFAconsult
Contrator Matriz Sociedade de Construções Lda




The light box
Manuel Montenegro

Nicolau Nasoni, a Florentine painter-architect, dominated the mid-18th century cultural scene of Porto through his many interventions in the city and its surroundings. Among the palaces, churches, gardens, and villas, the largest of them all, in terms of the area to be transformed, was the restoration of the Quinta da Prelada, a walled estate with a surface area equivalent to that of the walled city itself. There, Nasoni designed gates, obelisks, fountains, gardens, a maze and the longest baroque axis in the Iberian peninsula, now severed by the city’s inner highway and with its first half now transformed into city streets. Half-way through this axis (where the growing city met with what was left of the estate), sat the abandoned half-built ambitious renovation of an earlier house.

Two and a half centuries later, the Santa Casa da Misericórdia do Porto, a five-century-old charity, tightly quartered in the city centre, and inheritor of the estate, decided to properly house and give public access to its archives by renovating the house and its immediate surroundings. António Leitão Barbosa, the architect commissioned with the difficult task of creating a new image for an old and mutilated building, inside an older, mutilated estate, now owned by an even older, respectable institution, carefully steered his team in interpreting the long history of the site and the specificities of the programme. The strategy was to carefully renovate what had withstood the test of time, accepting the difficult complex the house had become
after its many owners and uses. To mark its new function, and the definitive transition from private to public space, a new volume is posed in striking contrast with all the pre-existing elements. The materiality of the new volume addresses the centuries-long tradition of additions to the fabric of Porto, using the newest light material at hand – wood, slate, corrugated metal and now, glass – to expand the limits of the pre-existing space, creating an oversized lantern (another typical feature of the fabric of Porto) that shines from within the ruins to shed light on the several
histories that cross paths at this site: that of an institution that runs a programme, that of a building that provides a context and that of a specialised window-making company, which always lends a hand when designers need solutions for their ideas to shine.





Location Porto, Portugal
Client Santa Casa da Misericórdia do Porto
Project 2005-2010
Completion 2013
Architecture António Leitão Barbosa – R31J Arquitectos
Authors António Manuel Rosas, Leitão Barbosa
Collaborators Rui Gonçalves, Teresa Novais, João Fernandes e Luísa Menezes, aNC
Landscape Marta Cudell
Architectural survey Jaime Campos
Historical study Joel Cleto
Archaeological intervention
Javier Galarza, André Nascimento; Empatia Arqueologia conservação e restauro Lda.
Study and survey of the state of Conservation and Artistic Production Techniques Paulo Ludjero,
Eng. Miguel Figueiredo; Crere – Centro de Restauro, Estudo e Remodelação de Espaços Lda
Structures and Hydraulic Installations António Monteiro,
Márcia Agostinho, Tânia Matos; A400 Projetistas e Consultores de Engenharia Lda
Mechanical installations: Raul Bessa, Telmo Mesquita; GET – Gestão de Energia Térmica Lda
Electrical Installations and Code Consultancy João Paulo Rocha; Síncrono Soluções integradas de Engenharia Lda
Building rehabilitation EMPRIPAR, obras públicas e privadas S.A.
Exteriors A. Ludgero Castro Lda
Building rehabilitation José Falcão; Enescoord Coordenação e Gestão de Projectos e Obras Lda
Exteriors André Camelo; AfaPlan Planeamento e gestão de projeto


Two Houses in Ponte de Lima
Miguel Cerquinho

The issue of housing, and in particular the single-family home, played a central role in the activity of Eduardo Souto de Moura for a considerable time. His work in shaping the domestic environment – adapting it to the conditions and variables dictated by brief, location and circumstance – has been a reference for several generations of architects.

I had the privilege of directly witnessing this work on three separate occasions. I have known Souto de Moura for many years, and have had the pleasure of living in three houses designed by him. In 1990, some friends and I challenged him to design a multi-family building in Rua do Teatro, Porto, in which I lived until 2002; in 2002, along with Rui Branco we built and lived in these two houses in Ponte de Lima, and since 2009 I have lived in one of his famous patio houses.

With the same initial brief, the two houses in Ponte de Lima were built on a plot with a very steep gradient, in complementary fashion. One, on the horizontal plane, appears to levitate, defying gravity; the other, as if it had already fallen, rests against the sloping terrain. With level sites available, the plots which give rise to this solution were suggested, to our surprise, by Souto de Moura himself. This choice was key to the materialisation of this unique project, so different to the dwellings which surround it.

The houses in Ponte de Lima were the first project to use Vitrocsa frames in Portugal, marking the beginning of a period of universally acknowledged architectural and commercial success.





Location Quinta de Anquião, Ponte de Lima, Portugal
Client Eng. Miguel Cerquinho, Eng. Rui Branco
Project 2001
Completion 2002
Architecture Souto Moura Arquitectos Lda
Authors Eduardo Souto de Moura
Team Jorge Domingues, Joana Mira Corrêa, Ana Isabel, Joana Gaspar, Diogo Guimarães, Adriana Miranda, Joaquim Portela
Structural Engineering Lello & Associados
Electrical Engineering RGA
Mechanical Engineering Ventarco Lda
Structure Coelho Construtores
Finishings Empalme – Sociedade de Construções Lda





4 Memories + 1 Warning

(1) First visit

A unique experience, intense, so strong that even today it overshadows all the professional or leisure visits I’ve made to Braga Stadium: I went with Eduardo to see the dantesque quarry where he would locate his elegant football stadium! We entered from above and were greeted by an aggressive, emaciated, squalid pack that we scared off with a shower of stones. The huge pit of the quarry fell vertically, mossy, scored with strange ferruginous colours. Across the abyss, wrapped in a dense cloud promising guaranteed silicosis, the workers were sawing granite with the piercing whine of the mighty grinders, the men all white, powder-coated ghosts who looked more like bakers. The days of all those people, all those primitive shacks, all those machines were numbered: that hole, that copper lake, all this would disappear to give way to the boldness of a truly unimaginable project. Impressed, in the thick of the dust and over the noise, I said to Eduardo, amazed, “This looks like a scene from Kusturica!”

(2) “House for the rich”

I returned to this granite platform in my professional capacity to be filmed and interviewed by RTP, which was making a video about Eduardo Souto de Moura, who had directed them to me. I had in mind the unpleasant incident in the south of Spain at a meeting of Portuguese and Andalusian architects in which someone with responsibility on our side described Eduardo as an unimportant architect with too much prominence because his work was no more than “half a dozen houses for the rich”.

I stood behind my tripod, aiming my Cambo at the daunting hole, and facing the camera, I pointed my finger at the precipice and with conviction said, and it was recorded: “… this is where Eduardo will prove that he doesn’t only build houses for the rich”. And so he did!

(3) Funambulists

I enthusiastically followed the works at the stadium. I witnessed some fantastic moments. I have experienced many of Eduardo´s concerns. I remember that one day he called me saying that one of the walls of the quarry, subject like everything else to constant measurements, had shifted by several centimetres. This was a work of courage, stubbornness, dreaming. Of all the actions that I was able to witness, one was particularly memorable: the group of Italians who set up the cables that connect the two roofs of the stands. Funambulists, with precise gestures and bold “flights”. The skills of the South.

(4) Portugal vs Italy

It’s raining. It’s raining a lot. I was in the “Quarry” with José Bernardo Távora to see Portugal vs Italy which, as usual, we lost. Looking south, I remembered with emotion Kusturica. Looking up, I saw the funambulists flying across the cables. That spectacular hole is also a little bit mine, because it’s imprinted in my memory.

Warning: this is a classified work; anything that defaces it is a crime.

Luís Ferreira Alves




Location Porto, Portugal
Client Câmara Municipal de Braga
Project 2000
Completion 2003
Architecture Souto Moura Arquitectos Lda
Authors Eduardo Souto de Moura
Collaborators Carlo Nozza, Ricardo Merí, Enrique Penichet,
Atsushi Hoshima, Diego Setien, Carmo Correia, Sérgio Koch, Joaquim Portela, Luisa Rosas, Jorge Domingues, Adriano Pimenta, Ricardo Rosa Santos, Diogo Guimarães, José Carlos Mariano, João Queiroz e Lima, Tiago Coelho, Nuno Graça Moura
Landscape Consultants Daniel Monteiro
Stadium Revise Consultants Arup Associated – Dipesh Patel
Engineering Coordination Rui Furtado; AFAssociados Lda
Structural Engineering Rui Furtado, Carlos Quinaz, Renato Bastos, Pedro Moas, Rui Oliveira,
Rodrigo Andrade e Castro, Pedro Pacheco, Miguel Paula Rocha, António André, João Dores, Sérgio Vale, Nuno Neves, Rafael Gonçalves, Andreia Delfim, Miguel Braga, João Coutinho, António Monteiro, AFAssociados
Hydraulic Engineering Maria Elisa Parente, Joana Neves; AFAssociados Lda
Electrical Engineering António José Rodrigues Gomes, António Ferreira, Luís Fernandes; RGA
Mechanical Engineering José Silva Teixeira, Tiago Fernandes; RGA
Code Consultancy Christian Aoustin; Gerisco
Excavation Consultants Estevão Santana, João Burmester
Roads Estevão Santana, João Burmester
Geotechnics António Silva Cardoso, CÊGÊ
Wind Study Andrew Alisop, Andrew Minson, Ove Arup & Partners
Rigid model tests Mark Hunter, Michael Soligo, RWDI
Aeroelastic model tests Aage Damsghaard, DMI Danish Maritime Institut
Dynamics Elsa Caetano, Instituto Construção da FEUP
Roofs Tensotec, Soares da Costa S.A.
General excavation Aurélio Martins Sobreiro, Adérito Faneca
Retaining ACE-ASSOC / Tecnasol
Structures, Installations ACE-ASSOC / Soares da Costa S.A.
Finishings and Exteriors Lionel Correia, Jorge Oliveira, Mário Duarte, Mário Pereira, Santos Costa