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Lopes da Costa

“Architecture projects are the area we’re most excited about”

José António Lopes da Costa

He got his degree in Bordeaux and worked as an intern in Rio de Janeiro. These two entirely disparate realities provided Lopes da Costa with very enriching experiences. He began his career in Portugal in 1984, founding his firm in Ovar. With a vast experience and a flexible team, the Atelier d'Arquitectura Lopes da Costa, in addition to all types of architectural programmes, ensures the components of the project in its different specialties, always with discipline and a close relationship with the client.

What led to you doing your degree in France?
It was an opportunity I was given at the end of 1977, at a time when teaching in Portugal, especially in Fine Arts, was going through a troubled period. The choice of France, Bordeaux, was due to the strong cultural and linguistic connection that existed back then, as well as to the reputation that the Bordeaux school of architecture was enjoying at the time. While still studying, I had the opportunity to work as an intern in Rio de Janeiro, at the firm of architect Sérgio Bernardes. 

When was the Lopes da Costa firm established and what did you want to bring that was new to the world of architecture?
As a company, it was created in 1998, but the structure was set up and grew on a freelancer basis. Our idea was always to bring a contemporary language, without pre-formatted ideas and with the utmost discipline in design and execution and a very close relationship with the client. The feeling we had was that everything had to be done. Our intention was to create our own language, without, however, becoming obsessed with it, but rather not following fashions or stereotypes.

Lopes da Costa is also dedicated to interior design, renovations and landscaping. Is there one area for which you have a special liking? 
Architecture projects are undoubtedly the area we identify with the most and which excite us the most, addressing various types of programmes, from residential, which is always present at the firm, to facilities, public and private, building from scratch or renovating. We are, however, a very flexible team with great experience in other areas.

"Our intention was to create our own language (…), rather than following fashions or stereotypes.”

How do you ensure every component of the project in its different specialities?
Striving towards providing a complete and integrated work makes us get involved, if necessary, in other skills, such as landscaping, engineering and construction management and supervision. In this regard, we work regularly with different professionals and offices, which we add to the team according to the type of project and the client’s wishes. 

Does the firm’s future involve conquering new markets?
In recent years, we have tried to forge a presence in some international markets, in particular France, Brazil and also Mozambique and Cape Verde. It is our intention to maintain and strengthen our presence in these markets and if possible conquer others, while never forgetting our main market, our clients in Portugal.

Casa MC, Santa Maria da Feira
Casa MC, Santa Maria da Feira
T. Maria Pires
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