Started in Berlin (1991) by Nuno Mateus and José Mateus, ARX Portugal is an architecture office based in Lisbon.

Our architecture doesn’t follow a lexicon or a stabilized language. In every new project we try to find the “vocables” for a specific language to the new context. More than searching common points between each new project and the previous, our interest focus more on finding differences. It is as if we were always returning to zero. And, at a certain level, that is our conception of innovation.

Evidently this approach also opens up a vast research field. Not having to work within rigid precepts, we search an experimental path where we can test new concepts starting from what interest and fascinates us. Meanwhile, wise seem to us the words of the Brazilian poet and philosopher António Cícero that once said: “what is interesting, it is not much writing something new, but writing something that the reading doesn’t date it.”

The future is always hard to predict, but, com-probingly, after the revolutions, of the disinterest in history and the globalization, there will be certainly a return to the local, to the specific, to the architecture made of small but solid impulses from the things that arrive to us.


nuno_mateusNuno Mateus

Born in Castelo Branco, in 09 of August 1961, has graduated in Architecture from Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade Técnica de Lisboa (FAUTL) in 1984
In 1987 obtained a Master of Science in Architecture and Building Design at Columbia University in New York.
Has worked among others with Peter Eisenman in New York from 1987 until 1991 and with Daniel Libeskind in Berlin in 1991

He has teached in several Architecture schools, national and international. Currently teaching Final Project – Master Thesis in FAUTL (Universidade Técnica de Lisboa – Faculdade de Arquitectura) and Project VII and VII at UAL (Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa), Nuno Mateus as also been UAL’s Director of the Architecture Department , from 2004 until 2007, having teached also Project III and IV. He was as well visiting professor in Universitat Internacional de Catalunya (ESARQ-UIC) in Barcelona and followed Architectural thesis projects at ESAP (Escola Superior Artística do Porto).

Lecturer in different countries about ARX´s work and juri member in several national and international architectural competitions.

In 1991, together with José Paulo Mateus, he founded ARX Portugal Arquitectos.
The office work is wide spread from private to public commissions in Portugal and abroad as well as several international competitions. Some of its major projects are built and a few are currently under construction.

ARX´s work has obtained several prizes and mentions such as the International Architecture Awards The Chicago Athenaeum, USA (Ílhavo Library), International Association of the Art Critics, Prize in Architecture 2003 (Maritime Museum), and Nominations for the Sécil and Mies Van der Rohe Prize, 2002 (Maritime Museum).
Beyond projects, articles and references in specialized newspapers and magazines, three monographic books were published on ARX´s work: A Second Nature (Blau 1993), Realidade-Real (CCB 1993) and Ílhavo Maritime Museum (Caleidoscópio 2004).

In 2007 the Portuguese Postal Services has issued a national stamp featuringIlhavo Maritime Museum, currently in circulation


jose_mateusJosé Mateus

Born in Castelo Branco in 1963, has graduated in Architecture from the Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade Técnica de Lisboa (FAUTL) in 1986.

Together with Nuno Mateus, founded in 1991 ARX Portugal Arquitectos.

Currently President of the Director’s Board of Lisbon Architecture Triennale, was also Executive Director of the events Trienal 2007 and Trienal 2010.

Currently a member of Babel’s Editorial Board.

Was President of the Southern Regional Assembly of the Ordem Arquitectos, as well as Vice President of the Direction of the same Regional Section between 2005-2007.

Guest professor at the Instituto Superior Técnico, in Lisbon, he was teacher at the Escola Técnica Superior d’ Arquitectura of the Universitat Internacional da Catalunya (ESARQ-UIC), in Barcelona; at the Instituto Superior de Ciências do Trabalho e da Empresa (ISCTE) and at the Escola Superior de Artes Decorativas de Lisboa (ESAD).
Author/coordinator of the magazine Linha (Architecture, Design and Landscape) of the weekly newspaper Expresso. He was also author/coordinator of the two television series Tempo & Traço for SIC Notícias channel. He was a regular participant on the radio program Na Ordem do Dia on TSF.

Lecturer in several different countries such as Portugal, Spain, USA, Hungary, England, Brazil, Belgium and Italy. He took part of the jury of the Architecture Prize of São Paulo Biennial in 2003, Europan Spain 2007 and ArchiFad 2011.

In 1993, the work of ARX was shown on the Exhibition Realidade Real at CCB and took part in many others, namely Percurso/Útvonal — ARX Portugal (Budapest, 2000), Influx 0.1 (Fundação de Serralves, 2002), Contaminantes/Comunicantes (Lisboa, 2000) and Nara Triennial (1994). Together with Centro Regional de Sangue do Porto, it took part of the exhibition Architectura e Design del Portogallo 1998-2004 of Milan Triennial.

ARX’s projects received numberless prizes, mentions and nominations, namely the International Architecture Award 2006 with the project for the Biblioteca Municipal de Ílhavo (The Chicago Athenaeum) and the Prize AICA 2003 (International Association of Art Critics) with the project for the Museu Marítimo de Ílhavo, also nominated for the Prémios SECIL 2002 and Mies van der Rohe 2002. Received also the Chicago Athenaeum International Architecture Award 2007 to House in Martinhal and 2008 to Technology College of Barreiro. This project was also in the short list of the Enor and Fad prices 2009. Also in 2009, House in Romeirão was awarded with Mafra’s Municipality Architecture Award.

Beyond projects, articles and references on specialized newspapers and magazines, also published three monographs on ARX’s work: Uma Segunda Natureza (Blau, 1993), Realidade Real (CCB, 1993) and Museu Marítimo de Ílhavo (Caleidoscópio, 2004).