Our Story


At Estúdio AMATAM we are passionate about challenges, but above all what drive us is the ambition to overcome them.

We embrace each project as if it is the first one, an opportunity to enhance the initial intentions of our clients, into an end product that translates originality, efficiency, charisma and contributes with an added value.

Our motivation comes from the possibility to create content, form and soul to the challenges that are posed to us, translating them into projects, models, built works. Our projects are unique and specific, seeking to take advantage of all the tools within our reach, both technological and empirical, so in genesis they are more than projects, they are integrated and transversal solutions that respond to functional, technical and aesthetic parameters. But above all they are also sensorial projects, because the spaces must be felt, and Estúdio AMATAM loves to contribute so that people feel good in the spaces they design.

We are a small studio of dedicated, enthusiastic and creative professionals. There are those who call us Architects, but we try to be more than that. We work with a wide range of areas, from Design, Architecture and Urbanism, both with formal and informal strategies, already with projects developed for different countries. Our projects cover all scales, always supported by multidisciplinary teams that guarantee us the full realization of the goals proposed to us. In the end this is what we look for in everything we do, continually surpassing the expected results.

The constant call for the creation of a proper, contextualized and sustainable identity for each challenge that we face leads us to always seek to go further, and the result of this effort is translated firstly into our client’s satisfaction, but also in the recognition by our peers, translated in the achieved the awards.

At Estúdio AMATAM we are passionate about challenges. Yes, it is true… but what really matters is the people who propose and realize them.

About Us

João Escaleira Amaral

Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Brazil, were the four countries where he worked before creating the AMATAM Studio. He is a traveled architect, an enthusiastic cook and a proud father. João had the opportunity to study in Rome where he did Erasmus at La Sapienza University in 2004 with a merit ranking, and finished the Bachelor of Architecture in 2006 at FA-UTL.

He started working in the Netherlands at SVP – Architectuur office in Stedenbouw. In Portugal he collaborated with Intergaup and Artestável, having left the last one to pursue a Master’s Degree in Advanced Urban Design Studies at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, for which he received a scholarship from the Geisendorf Foundation. More recently was in São Paulo, Brazil, where he participated in the Urban Plan of Cabuçu de Baixo 5, a competition winning project, won together with his fellow colleagues in Zurich in 2011. In 2012 he challenges Manuela to create Estúdio AMATAM.

Manuela Tamborino

1.54m of objectivity, enthusiasm and dedication, make Manuela a highly motivated architect. After five years working at Saraiva and Associados, a scholarship awarded by the Swiss Federal Government, took her to Zurich for a year to attend and complete a Masters in Advanced Studies in Urban Design at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH).

After having won a contest for favelas urbanization in São Paulo – Renova SP -, she spent 6 months in Brazil representing Colectivo Urbano, the team responsible for developing the Urban Plan for Cabuçu de Baixo 5. Returned to Portugal in 2012, decides to create Estúdio AMATAM, together with João.

Ruy Cardoso

The pleasure of traveling and practicing sport are part of his DNA. He loves to be challenged and solve problems at the sound of Pearl Jam, always with a calm that characterizes him. Between work, Sporting football games and the gym, he always saves some time for his Jackson PS1, an inseparable friend. He has French as his second language, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo at its heart.

Ruy is an Architect graduated by the Architecture Faculty of the Technical University of Lisbon, and has worked professionally for ten years at Esteves & Associados. In January 2017 he switched Viseu for Almada in order to join Estúdio AMATAM team.

Vanessa Vieira

She is the youngest of the team, but her age is only reflected in the playlist and in the Disney animated classic films that stills continues to delight. From the practice of futsal she inherited the discipline and the method, characteristics that defines her as perfectionist and critical.

Leiria as a special place in her heart because she lived there since the age of 9, however decides to settle in Lisbon after surrendered to the Architecture degree, which she is currently finishing at ISCTE-IUL.


They don´t drive us, but they might mean something about what we do.