organizations : : objects : : architecture : :  urbanism 

Established in 2015, ooau develops tailor-made solutions at the urban, architecture, object and organizational level. The services cover a wide range of scope: from original concept designs, to development and optimization of existing ones, and production and fabrication documents; from consultancy on design strategies and design management to advice on quality and knowledge management within organizations.

Over its first years of activity, ooau has advised local authorities, architectural practices, international contractors, and private clients, with projects Portugal, Italy, Germany, Qatar, Oman and Brazil.




organizations ::

| standards | processes | contracts | knowledge management | scalability |

objects : :

| product design | design 2 production | prototyping | material research |

architecture : :

| integral design | geometry | buildability & value | parametrization |

urbanism : :

| data and functional analysis | infrastructure and program | policy |


efficiency or efficacy

A creative activity can seldom be truly efficient. The zeroing on the perfect solution that satisfies all tangible and intangible variables of a client’s brief requires a willingness to try different paths that may turn out to be dead ends. It is the nature of creativity and innovation. All the more reasons to aim at efficacy.

To achieve an effective design or organization, the opportunity for creative exploration must be maximized. That requires the implementation of effective procedures that streamline the processes that are needed but not directly conductive to achieve the goals. This means that recurrent tasks can become common standardized and repetitive task may be automatized, releasing resources to fulfill the central ambitions of the design or organization.

maximum effect minimum effort

Value creation through design is central to our approach. The cultural or social value of a design needs to be balanced with the short and long term investment (economic value) of its production and maintenance, as well as the environmental impact and return (value). A good understanding of new and old materials, as well as of actual and current production and building methods, leads to solutions that may look intricate or complex but are achieved in a cost-effective manner.





nuno almeida


Nuno Almeida is a European registered architect with twenty years of international experience. He has a degree from the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Oporto and is a registered architect with Ordem dos Arquitectos (Portuguese regulatory and licensing body for the architect profession) since 1998. Following experiences in Barcelona, Copenhagen, Berlin, Porto, and Rotterdam, he worked at UNStudio (Amsterdam) for 16 years between June 1999 and December 2014, reaching the position of Associate Director / Senior Architect. In 2015, he returned to Portugal, where he founded   OOAU – Design Consulting. 

Nuno Almeida has amassed extensive experience in leading large-scale international designs of high complexity (both in terms of their geometrical/design complexity and political/strategic complexity). His experience extends from conceptual design (including several winning design concepts and competitions), through to detailed design development and construction documentation. In all phases, he plays an active role in both the internal design creation, optimization and buildability, and in the external management of private and public clients, public entities, contractors, and consultants. In addition, Nuno also manages the contractual, commercial and financial aspects of most projects with which he has been involved. 

Apart from the external and internal roles related to the design and management of projects at UNStudio, Nuno also actively participated in the studio’s balanced growth, from a 20-something-employee design practice, to a 120-plus-employee architectural company, while maintaining both the design ambition and the quality that had first brought UNStudio to the forefront of the architectural discourse. During this time, Nuno performed a number of key roles ranging from early organizational changes for the Quality Certification ISO 9001 in 2001, to the implementation of Research & Development programs and Knowledge Management strategies, that allowed their adaptation to ever-larger projects, cutting-edge geometries and industry technological advances. 
Independently and representing UNStudio, Nuno Almeida has lectured and taught at several universities and congresses. 



(only available in published language)

Fachadismo: a morte da (autenti)cidade de Lisboa | PUBLICO 14 março 2017


                                                                                             O debate sobre a intervenção nos centros urbanos chegou a um novo patamar com a queixa na justiça contra o edifício projetado por Souto de Moura na Praça das Flores. É uma situação preocupante que põe em causa a capacidade dos arquitetos intervirem originalmente nos centros urbanos quando já existem diversos obstáculos à renovação arquitetónica dos centros históricos. O resultado será uma cidade cada vez mais presa ao passado, superficial e desinteressante, uma Veneza a tender cada vez mais para o Venetian de Las Vegas, uma caricatura de si mesma sofrendo uma gradual desertificação cultural e de população, mais pobre mas mais cara.

Link ao artigo

Aqui não há Ordem, só organização | Jornal Arquitectos J-A 250 2014


Nas últimas décadas, o êxito da arquitectura holandesa não se ficou a dever (apenas) ao talento dos arquitectos holandeses. Nos anos de 1990, o investimento do Estado holandês na promoção da arquitectura foi amplo e estruturado, não se limitando à valorização de obras singulares que beneficiam escritórios de uma certa dimensão e/ou nome. Por exemplo, o programa VINEX promoveu mais de uma centena de projectos de habitação de grande escala, que beneficiaram um grande número de escritórios de diferente dimensão, prática e experiência. Em paralelo, no final dos anos de 1980, a criação do Instituto Holandês de Arquitectura (NAI) instigou o debate cultural sobre arquitectura, seguindo uma estratégia de programação orientada para o presente e para o futuro.

Link ao artigo



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