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  5. Aires Mateus
  6. 2009
  7. Santo Tirso Call Center / Aires Mateus

Santo Tirso Call Center / Aires Mateus

  • 01:00 - 1 June, 2010
Santo Tirso Call Center / Aires Mateus
Santo Tirso Call Center / Aires Mateus, © João Morgado
© João Morgado

© João Morgado © João Morgado © João Morgado © João Morgado +34

  • Architects

  • Location

    Santo Tirso, Portugal
  • Architects

    Aires Mateus
  • Collaborators

    Marco Arraiolos, Anna Bacchetta, Bruna Parro
  • Engineering

    AFA Consult
  • Client

    Portugal Telecom
  • Constructor

  • Built Area

    3,985 sqm
  • Area

    4700.0 sqm
  • Project Year

  • Photographs

From the architect. The plot assimilates a sequence of different levels, that can be seen from the higher city, in different points and moments. Its position marks the transition between the urban landscape of the city of Santo Tirso, and the natural landscape of a cultivated valley.

© João Morgado
© João Morgado

The project is conceived starting from these existing values: the topography and the border condition.

© João Morgado
© João Morgado

A clear system is organized inside “telluric” volumes gravitating around a big central space. The patios and openings between the volumes register the experience of light during the day.

© João Morgado
© João Morgado
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: "Santo Tirso Call Center / Aires Mateus" 01 Jun 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>
Read comments


zoroaster · December 02, 2012

There's a lot to like in the project, but am I the only one who's bothered by the graphic element of the pavement on the roof being only that and not affecting the inside as courtyards, light wells or skylights? I can understand that those things were undesired on the inside, but it seems "tacked on" or maybe clung to from initial sketches and the fact of the building's roof plane being visible and important in this site doesn't seem to justify this move as it's been done.

Joao Morgado · July 04, 2012

Archdaily | Callcenter in Santo Tirso by Aires Mateus -

Pépé le MokoMoko · April 18, 2011

architecture : Santo Tirso Call Center / Aires Mateus | ArchDaily via @archdaily

How high can you fly? · March 13, 2011

Well, the architectural language and materials are almost the same. The process is a little bit different, as they have their own method.

Leo · January 04, 2011

Actually Aires Mateus have a lot of siza's influence in their work, said by themeselfs in the interview of last year's venice biennal. And you can see it! They have the pilotis of siza plus their on knowledge and views, that's what make their architecture so great!

sequeira · September 24, 2010

olá será que m poderia dizer qual é a morada exacta? sei
que é em Santo tirso, e qual é a rua? gostaria de visitar!
aguardo a vossa resposta,

Vinícius W. Matos · August 23, 2010

Achei um precedente pro meu TCC! Santo Tirso Call Center | ArchDaily via @archdaily

O. ARQUITECTOS SRS · June 14, 2010

Santo Tirso Call Center / Aires Mateus | ArchDaily

shinya ohno · June 07, 2010

I like it, & it is like sympathy feeling cause of my past suggestion.Santo Tirso Call Center / Aires Mateus | ArchDaily

Daniel Sabóia · June 06, 2010 Num lugar assim até eu "gostaria de estar trabalhando" como pentelho telefonico!

Daniel Sabóia · June 06, 2010 Num lugar assim até eu "gostaria de estar trabalhando"! · June 04, 2010

Santo Tirso Call Center / Aires Mateus

bard · June 04, 2010

tfa: I understand your point and frankly that brings us to a whole new subject of discussion. Whether Siza's architecture is "typical" of a country and whether a country historically has a "typical" architecture. There are people doing PhDs about that, so it is a very complex matter.
Although simplistically I can answer to does 2 questions negatively. But at the same time We must admit that historically, Portugal never had the same architecture as Britain or even as France and even if you cross the border to Spain you will see that the architecture changes. It has to do with regional context, economics, culture, evolution, and so on. So you may ask: So why do I say that there isn't a characteristic architecture of Portugal (or of any other country)? It is simply because countries frontiers often don't correspond exactly to regional frontiers, to cultural distinctions. So that's why you go to Granada and you have a whole Arabic architecture experience without getting out of Europe.
Even in Portugal, a small country, has a really diverse set of regions that changes the way people live and react. Therefore, over the years of the regime, there was a clear attempt to make Portuguese architecture the same from west to east from north to south. At that time the most prominent architect was Raul Lino who soon saw a nationalist interpretation of his work and began to see the whole country dressed up of white single story houses even in plain mountains where people have always built their houses with stones, not with clay.
In this way, I still can't agree with you when you refer "characteristic architecture of Portugal" because there isn't one. There are plenty. And the way Siza became so successful was precisely in the way he interpreted the local aspects of society and designed a specific building for that place. That is why his architecture is so diverse in typologies.
I agree that there is a degree of confusion of in order to make good architecture you need to compare yourself to Siza's works, although this is really not the case with Aires Mateus nor with the majority of good contemporary portuguese architects. The one's that spend all day trying to copy Siza's elements they will never be good architects nor be recognized as so. But most of the times they'll make good money though.

Bolo Mármore · June 03, 2010

Sim, mas tenho pena de quem vai trabalhar naqueles cubículos RT @fredericolucas Fantástico! RT @urbscape: Call Center

Frederico Lucas · June 03, 2010

Fantástico! RT @urbscape: Santo Tirso Call Center / Aires Mateus

Urbscape · June 03, 2010

Santo Tirso Call Center / Aires Mateus

tfa · June 03, 2010

ok bard.. you alright.
these architects like Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas, Daniel Libeskind has copying Peter Eisenman .. but they somehow they have an identity and originality in your projects and we can identify them without any problem, as with Alvaro Siza too.

There is no problem in getting an architect an use like reference, but I think every architect should seek their own identity.

I guess sometimes the Portugueses architects are confused, they confused the Siza's architecture with de Portugal architecture, they took Siza's architecture as the characteristic architecture of Portugal.

bard · June 03, 2010

tfa: so what you are trying to tell us from the photos you've posted is that using white render walls, skylights and monolithic volumes are trademarks of Siza that every architect shouldn't be using in order not to be compared to him. alright.

what about oblique walls, glass façades, exploded spaces, oblique columns? hum... let me think of some stars that are all copying each other with out no one criticising them for it: Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas, Daniel Libeskind, and so on and so on...They all started to copy Eisenman, but do you give a damn? No!

And what about this building looking like portuguese architecture? what could possibly be wrong with that?! There are only good things if you can visit a arch blog like this and figure out by yourself where the building is located without looking at the info. I'm sure that 90% of the cases you won't be able to do that! Is it good to be like that? hell no. Generic architecture has reached its end some years ago. What we see now is just some last generic buildings that were on paper and needed to be built. There won't be any place for generic architecture in the western world in 5 to 10 years. It will be a way for the western world to stand out from the emerging eastern countries.

bluevertical · June 03, 2010

Santo Tirso Call Center by Aires Mateus #architecture #interiordesign #minimalism *love the street-side view

archimania · June 03, 2010

Tim in our office almost wept for joy when he saw this @archdaily beau--ti--ful:

tfa · June 02, 2010

Well, it is not necessary to see the latest projects of siza's to know that almost all portugueses follow him.
I like too much siza.. but I don't think orginal see this kind of project, It doesn't matter how the latest are. That's why I say again: It's a good project I realize also the quality of the architecture, but for me It's repetitive, boring and don't have any originality.

That's my reserch in just five minutes:

jjrl · June 02, 2010

Siza is Siza ... and Aires Mateus is Aires Mateus .. is totally different things.
but one thing is certain, Portuguese architecture patent, elegance and a full symbiosis with the environment and image of the place and the city.
the purity of soul architectural portugese design my friends

realworld · June 02, 2010

can get even basic information on material and construction?
we need more than pictures!

Salmon · June 02, 2010 10:25 PM

I agree! Some details would be nice!

B · June 02, 2010

This doesn't look simple, it looks really complicated. After studying the foto's and plans I still can't make a lot out of it.

Although I generally love the portuguese masters, in this case the internal spaces look a bit too internal for me. But again, I don't understand the plan.

Daidaloos · June 02, 2010

They could do better with the external spaces, they are not very inviting...

weesht · June 02, 2010

Amazed by the some of the mean spirited comments above, resumably left by some hugely talented architects. This is a call centre. To create the quality of space and light, executed with such skill in a building type which is normally a tin shed on the edge of town is nothing short of miraculous. I for one applaud the achievement. As for Siza, well the more buildings that approach his standard the better.

Mr P · June 02, 2010

light years ahead of new Gehry's work

cynosure · June 02, 2010


Maarten · June 02, 2010

Very very nice project. It might look simple, however I wish I had the skills to design with this quality. The details are, as usual from Aires Mateus, amazing!

rsantosfernandes · June 02, 2010

...if you follow the fashion trends you are already out of fashion! Being creative is exactly doing what you desire and not be worried about the tastes and trends of some kind.

The overall quality of all their works is really good and unique somehow.
Being always in mies van der rohe prize finalists says something.

...these guys will one day win the pritzker prize...

Adi · June 10, 2010 04:24 PM

I just keep proposing them, but no one listens :)

d pinochet · June 02, 2010

Amazing, i couldn´t expect less than this amazing office. this is good architecture!!!!, the spaces, light ,etc.
saying that this is a siza´s knock off it´s just ignorance...
thumbs up for aires mateus

PLD · June 02, 2010

Did you realize the quality of the road pavement in the roof picture? Spectacular!!!

the project is really clever elegant and with a great control of the section and light.
Good exercise of simplicity and elegance.


Leonardo Ximenes · June 02, 2010

Most inspiring building I've seen in a long time. Parabens!

Salmon · June 02, 2010

Better cubism then new age formalistic thingamagic...

FRM · June 02, 2010

Very nice.

Not sure what the cubism comment above means, seeing how this isn't cubism.

K · June 01, 2010

Amazing that they can get a roof free of any vents or other typical roof elements.

tfa · June 01, 2010

is a project of Álvaro Siza?
Portuguese architects can not stop following him?
This is a good project, but I do not need the information to know the country of architects.

bpm · June 02, 2010 03:42 PM

i don't really veneer Aires Mateus architecture but one thing I have to regard, considering your comment, which I can't understand whether it is a compliment or not...cities are the face of a country. If aires mateus are following siza - which i think they aren't, just check latest works of siza - they are following one idea behind his architectural thought(and,for my opinion,very well): the importance of locus and the way it relates with its context, and the understanding of architecture as a cultural manifestation - as it is art, in general. If most architects wouldn't disregard these premises they would build better cities (not generic cities,without offering different experiences)
ps. cubism....i don't think so.....

abe · June 02, 2010 03:04 PM

This, Siza? Go study.

jml · June 02, 2010 01:58 PM


Chris Rossi · June 01, 2010

lovely! RT @archdaily: Santo Tirso Call Center / Aires Mateus #architecture

Ricardo · June 01, 2010

cubism is so over...


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© João Morgado

Santo Tirso 呼叫中心 / Aires Mateus