João Cepeda

Constantly striving for the essence.

Prone to eschew fashion or trends of any kind.
Pursuits serenity.

Focuses on the (sole) core support of architecture – materiality and its pure construction design.

Considers these as grounding and embodying the discipline’s (only) possible creative tools – and, ultimately, the architect’s (specific) potential themes.

Significance, conceptualization and value come afterwards – they lie in the eye of the beholder, and not of the former.

Aspires for the essentiality and spareness of the most natural, pure and tactile materials.

Believes that each project bears the imprint of its own circumstances.
Hence, each project synthesizes a unique, unrepeatable and poetic endeavor.


Refers Japan as a defining experience in his life.
In Japan, he was guided through a line of local customs and traditions, and enlightened to their exquisite culture.
As such, he learned their evocative vision of the mundane, and the beauty of impermanence.
Ever since, he became interested in presence, and in reconciling built spaces with a sense of belonging, memory, harmony and grace.


Practices architecture as a secular discipline that, among and together with coordinating several areas of expertise, (still) possesses its own autonomy.


Although claiming that, every so often, it may reach a timeless artistic existence, he regards architecture as an art solely through its Greek ancient essence and meaning, the original root-word techné” – a specific way of knowledge or know-how, that operates with its own specific means (or a particular (intuitive) sense, which arises from both accumulated experience and sensibility – or in other words, from both practice and theory ).


Hence, he interprets architecture as

an art of designing,

an art of building,

an art of inhabiting –

and, ultimately,

an art of living.

Awards and recognitions


Architizer A+Awards   •   Finalist
Best Private House

Architizer, USA


LOOP Design Awards   •   Nominee
Best Architecture Design

LOOP Design Awards, Portugal


Golden Trezzini Awards   •   Nominee
Best Project of Private Residence

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum,
USA | Switzerland | Russia


Aedificio Awards   •   Winner
“Progetto Meritevole” | Deserving Project

Aedificio, Italy


PhD Grant   •   Winner
Bolsa de Doutoramento

FCT – Foundation for Science and Technology, Portugal


Fernando Távora Prize   •   2nd Place
Prémio Fernando Távora

Portuguese Architects Guild – Ordem dos Arquitectos


Fernando Távora Prize   •   2nd Place
Prémio Fernando Távora

Portuguese Architects Guild – Ordem dos Arquitectos

Architects Now Prize   •   Winner

Prémio Arquitectos Agora
Portuguese Architects Guild – Ordem dos Arquitectos

Premios FAD de Arquitectura e Interiorismo   •   Finalist

ArquinFAD, Spain

Merit Grant   •   Winner

Bolsa de Mérito

Swiss Confederation


Lisbon, Portugal, 1983


Portuguese architect and researcher.

Graduated by the Technical University of Lisbon (Portugal) and, after winning a merit grant from the Swiss Confederation, by the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland), obtaining his Master in Architecture.


Integrated, in Switzerland, the “Laboratoire de Production Architecturale ”, from the Swiss architect Harry Gugger, former main partner of the Swiss architectural firm “Herzog & De Meuron ”.


Worked in Paris, as a research fellow, at the Fondation Le Corbusier (2012).


Participated in the 14th Architecture Venice Biennale (2012).


Authored the book “Nadir Afonso, Architect ” (2013), a monographic work about the architecture of the renowned Portuguese painter-architect Nadir Afonso, who worked with Le Corbusier and Oscar Niemeyer.


Worked in Japan, in Tokyo, at the architectural office of Shinichi Ogawa (2013-2014).


Worked in Lisbon, at Frederico Valsassina’s architectural office (2015-2019).


Published in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Russia, Brazil, USA, Japan, China, Singapore, Hungary and Turkey, he has also collaborated with numerous international art and architectural entities, publications, exhibitions, conferences, debates, talks and round tables, and with different cultural, media and online channels, by authoring several articles, chronicles, essays and papers, integrating scientific committees, or giving various testimonies and interviews.


Established his own practice since 2019, while simultaneously developing his Architecture PhD as an awarded grantee at the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Porto – FAUP (Portugal), and as an integrated associate researcher at its Center for Studies in Architecture and Urbanism (CEAU), at the “Theory and Design Practices” research group.


Appreciates things simple.
Music and writing are his other great passions.