Manuel Aires Mateus was born in Lisbon in 1963. He graduated from Faculdade de Arquitetura de Lisboa (1986) and he collaborates with Francisco Aires Mateus, with both having founded the studio Aires Mateus in 1988.
In teaching, he collaborates with several universities since 1986, such as the Harvard Graduate School of Design, the College of Architecture, Art and Planning of Cornell University, the Oslo Architecture School, the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Ljubljana or the School of Architecture of the University of Navarre, in Pamplona.
Since 1998, he is a professor of Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa and, since 2001, of the Accademia di Architettura in Mendrisio, Switzerland.
The studio’s work is present in several countries, being developed from its premises in Lisbon, Portugal and many of the projects have in published in monographies, including the A+A Architecture Guide, El Croquis, Arquitectura Viva, GA, A+U, 2G, C3, d’Arco, TC Cuadernos, DOMUS and AMAG, among others.
Aires Mateus has participated in several exhibitions, with a regular presence, for example, at the Venice Architecture Biennale (Italy, 2010, 2012, 2016, 2018 and 2021). They were also present at the Architecture Biennale Villa et Culture in Rabat (Morocco, 2018), at the Centre de Création Contemporaine Olivier Debré (CCCOD) in Tours (France, 2015), at Milan Design Week, with the installation White in the City (Italy, 2017), at the Chicago Architecture Biennial with the piece Ruins in Time and, recently, at the Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism (South Korea, 2021) with the project TO INHABIT.
Through time, Aires Mateus has been awarded several prizes, both national and international, including the AIT Award (2012, 2020), Valmor Prize (2002, 2002, 2018), Secil Prize (2020), FAD Awards (2001, 2008, 2010), Ecola Prize (2019), ENOR Prize (2006) as well as the prize of the Ibero-American Urban Planning and Architecture Biennale (2001, 2012, 2019) and the selection for the Mies van der Rohe Prize (2007, 2017). In 2017, Manuel Aires Mateus was awarded with the Pessoa Prize.
The studio’s work has always dealt with the role of memory and knowledge, with the relationship between the physical and the cultural world. The work seeks to reflect on every scale surrounding us. It searches for the perennial state of shapes and materiality in the continuity of time.