Eduardo Souto de Moura was born in Porto, Portugal in 1952. His father was a doctor (ophthalmologist) and his mother a home maker. He has one brother and one sister. The sister is also a doctor and his brother is a lawyer with a political career – formerly he was Attorney General of Portugal.
Following his early years at the Italian School, Souto de Moura enrolled in the School of Fine Arts in Porto, where he began as an art student, studying sculpture, but eventually achieving his degree in architecture. He credits a meeting with Donald Judd in Zurich for the switch from art to architecture. While still a student, he worked for architect Noé Dinis and then Álvaro Siza, the latter for five years. While studying and working with his professor of urbanism, Architect Fernandes de Sá, he received his first commission, a market project in Braga which has since been demolished because of changing business patterns.
After 2 years of military service he won the competition for the Cultural Centre in Porto. The beginning of his career as an independent architect.
He is frequently invited as a guest professor to Lausanne and Zurich in Switzerland as well as Harvard in the United States. These guest lectures at universities and seminars over the years have afforded him the opportunity to meet many colleagues in the field, among them Jacques Herzog and Aldo Rossi.
He is married and he has 3 daughters: Maria Luisa, Maria da Paz e Maria Eduarda.His wife, Luisa Penha, and the eldest daughter are architects, the second is a nurse and the third is on the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Oporto for the 3rd year.
Along with his architecture practice, Souto de Moura is a professor at the University of Oporto, and is a visiting professor at Geneva, Paris-Belleville, Harvard, Dublin and the ETH Zurich and Lausanne.
Often described as a neo-Miesian, but one who constantly strives for originality, Souto de Moura has achieved much praise for his exquisite use of materials -- granite, wood, marble, brick, steel, concrete -- as well as his unexpected use of color. Souto de Moura is clear on his view of the use of materials, saying, “I avoid using endangered or protected species. I think we should use wood in moderation and replant our forests as we use the wood. We have to use wood because it is one of the finest materials available.”
In an interview with Croquis, he explained, “I find Mies increasingly fascinating...There is a way of reading him which is just to regard him as a minimalist. But he always oscillated between classicism and neoplasticism...You only have to remember the last construction of his life, the IBM building, with that powerful travertine base that he drilled through to produce a gigantic door. Then on the other hand, he arrived in Barcelona and did two pavilions, didn’t he? One was abstract and neo plastic and the other one was 9 classical, symmetrical with closed corners...He was experimenting. He was already so modern he was ‘post’.”
Souto de Moura acknowledges the Miesian influence, speaking of his Burgo Tower, but refers people to something written by Italian journalist and critic, Francesco Dal Co, “it’s better not to be original, but good, rather than wanting to be very original and bad.”
At a series of forums called the Holcim Forum on sustainable architecture, Souto de Moura stated, “For me, architecture is a global issue. There is no ecological architecture, no intelligent architecture, no sustainable architecture — there is only good architecture. There are always problems we must not neglect; for example, energy, resources, costs, social aspects — one must always pay attention to all these.”
Graça Correia founded CORREIA/RAGAZZI ARQUITECTOS in 2005 with Roberto Ragazzi. She graduated from FAUP (Faculdade de Arquitectura do Porto) in 1989 and until 1995 collaborated with Eduardo Souto de Moura. Started her individual trajectory as an architect and in 2000 begins a partnership with Eduardo Souto de Moura developing several co-authored projects, namely the ongoing Rehabilitation of the Robinson Factory in Portalegre.
Defended her PhD thesis in 2006 at the UPC (Universitat Politécnica da Catalunha) which made the final selection for the ARQUIA 2007 Competition. Was a member of the Portuguese Architects Association from 2005 until 2013. Graça has been invited to integrate juries, give lectures and conferences in Portugal and abroad.
Published several articles and in 2008 the book Ruy Athouguia: A Modernidade em Aberto; in 2014 was invited to publish the book Ruy D’Athouguia as a part of a collection on Portuguese architects. Graça has received several distinctions, national and international awards.
Alongside her architecture practice Graça has been teaching since 1990 at several universities; at the moment teaches at FAUP and integrates the new direction board of the architecture graduate degree at Universidade Lusófona, Porto.
Roberto Ragazzi graduated from IUAV (Instituto Universitário de Arquitectura de Veneza) in 1997 with the thesis Città di Treviso. Un progetto per le aree: ex-scalo Motta, stadio ed ex-Foro Boario. Between 1998 and 1999 worked at the professional modelling studio of Alvaro Negrello, in Porto. From 2000 until 2005 collaborated and was project coordinator at the architecture office of Virginio Moutinho. As a CORREIA/RAGAZZI ARQUITECTOS founding partner Roberto has given lectures and conferences in Portugal and abroad and has received several awards.