Forum Sintra


The design project for Forum Sintra deals with a complex intervention on a pre-existing shopping mall adjoined to Feira Nova supermarket, near the IC-19 road arriving at Sintra (Abrunheira). The space once occupied by shops and movie theatres was demolished to give way to this new building, while the supermarket is still operating until the intervention is concluded, after which it will move up to a different business ground, starting to operate then as Pingo Doce supermarket.

The relationship established with route IC-19 is quite evident, as is that established with Sintra mountain range and its recognizable and waving profile, crowned by king Fernando II’s romantic reinvention, the Pena Palace.
The new architecture design had its starting points in these conditions, and it aimed at conciliating these drives, so different in time and space, in a contemporary invention.

The building emerges as a clear volume, following the freeway and curling adossado around the large existing surface. Its mass is divided in two opposite vertical extracts: a heavy base in black concrete, connecting the building to the ground, and a second volume, pushed back, in white finish, as a clear reference to Portuguese tradition.
The strong contrast of these materials and textures at once gives the composition a radically abstract and contemporary look and installs an elegant and culturally integrated presence. This is then our starting point for carving the mall spaces of a new Forum Sintra.

Traditionally designed as straight indoor streets coming together in multiple-sized squares, in this project the configuration started with an assortment of straight mall segments from diverse constructive identities. They even have their own work names (or concepts) used as guidelines for developing the specificity of each atmosphere.

We have, for instance, the heavy tectonics of a “concrete mall”, fully made in fair-faced concrete, or the black-glass, black-stone “elegant mall”, with meticulous stainless steel details and filtered luminosity. We have a surprising “green mall”, an ethereal and floating space, bearing its infrastructures naturally and lifting us in an abstract green atmosphere, with its green-glass floor. We also have the “home mall” with its laminated wood structure and coating. Wood has that irreplaceable tactile dimension, speaking to us, telling us of Home.
We come to a sudden halt: the food court, where a gardened terrace places us in a visual rendez-vous with Sintra mountains, as if it was its extension.

We have yet some others, each with its own individual character, and when put together inspire a strong urban diversity. Just like in a city.

When they intersect, this succession of in-line malls creates the Squares as places of convergence. These are showered by natural light coming from opal glass (jewels) skylights, oddly-shaped hovering objects piercing through the ceiling. Outside, they assume their unique unexpected – geological – geometries. These solids-lamps will become a hallmark, in the surroundings, for this new centrality being created by Forum Sintra.

The presence of the large folded metal plate (graphics) bearing the mall’s name unmistakeably puts the building over route IC19. This piece embodies the architectural nature of the building, dismissing the usual superfluous decorations and straightforwardly elegant in its design. We therefore hope it stays contemporary for a long time.


Imoretalho - Gestão de Imóveis SA e Multi 25 - Sociedade Imobiliária

IC19 - Rio de Mouro, Sintra

2008 - 2010
2009 - 2011

55.000 m2 (GLA)
230.000 m2(Gross Construction Area)


ChapmanTaylor España – Arquitectura y Urbanismo

ARX Portugal, Arquitectos lda.

José Mateus

Nuno Mateus


Sofia Raposo, Ricardo Guerreiro, Emanuel Rebelo, Fábio Cortês, Diana Afonso, Miguel Torres, Filipe Cardoso, Marc Anguille, Bruno Martins, Joana Pedro, Décio Cardoso

Design Consultant


Lighting Consultant

Har Hollands Lichtarchitect

Landscape Architecture

Jardins do Paço – Arquitectura Paisagista


Dimstrut – Engenharia de Estruturas

Electrical and Telecomunicatons Planning / Security Planning

PEN, Projectos de Engenharia, Lda.

Sanitary Planning

PEN, Projectos de Engenharia, Lda.

Mechanical Planning

PEN, Projectos de Engenharia Lda.


FICOPE / Engexpor – Consultores de Engenharia, Lda.


Consórcio MotaEngil / Opway