Colectivo Warehouse
A living ecosystem
Lisbon, PT

Warehouse is an architecture and art collective founded in Lisbon in 2013 and led by Rúben Teodoro, Ricardo Morais and Sebastião de Botton. After having met during university in Lisbon, they have grown into a studio that resembles a living ecosystem that develops participatory architecture projects in the cultural and social scope.


Working together during free time

All Warehouse's founders met in the Lusíada University of Lisbon, so the collective was formed towards the end of architecture school. We were writing our thesis back then and it was that moment when you are neither studying because you don’t have a project, nor trying to find an immediate job. For us it was interesting to rent a space and then invite some friends and colleagues from the university to work collectively and actually look for our own work opportunities. The idea was to have a laboratory and a task force to engage yourself in competitions, self promoted projects or commissions. 


Learning from Casa do Vapor

It was the start of an architectural office, without knowing where to go, what to do or what kind of architecture to practice. Right there we received this email from "Casa do Vapor" and until today we don’t know how we received this email. I wanted to go there and meet those people, see how they work, what they do. This is how we met the architects, builders and artists who were working in Casa do Vapor. When I came back to our space I was excited and I wanted to continue to be involved. All the projects, the communitarian empowerment, the construction, the ongoing design, was happening there at that moment. That ambience excited us and inspired us to look for an architectural approach different from the conventional one that was shared with us in the University and through a general view of the architect. That's how everything started for us.


A living ecosystem

Our studio is a living ecosystem with people passing around almost everyday. We organize ourselves with a 3- to 4-person core team, that works full-time in Warehouse, and then we have a network of people with different backgrounds that could work with us in a specific project or for a certain period of time. That's why one day there's 3 guys in the office and the next, there's 7 people. 

Then, after almost 7 years, and 4 different studios we finally moved to a bigger space that combines our office, a big workshop and a big room for events. This was a strategic movement mostly to improve our capacity to design & build, that also looks for a smooth and sustained growth of the permanent team, in order to be able to answer and explore all the opportunities we find. 


Setting realistic objectives

As a collective, we, as members, have the ability to readjust their curse when we feel that our creative or personal expectations are not being realized. By now we still feel that the majority of the time we are doing what motivates us the most. That being said, over the last few years, one of our efforts was to work on the definition of our next steps, objectives and goals. With that exercise came realisation but also a lot of frustration. Mostly because having a studio is more than just what you do as an architect. In our case it's also important the real impact of our projects, how people could see our work, how we could manage our collaborators fairly, how we maintain sustainability and identity. Among others, these questions have been an interesting but hard friction between expectations and reality.


Growing steadily

As a collective we know that metamorphosis is in our DNA, and as we’ve been evolving, learning and adapting over the last 7 years, the future probably will be part of a similar process. As I said before, this year we invest and move to a 450sqm studio mostly to improving our capacity to design & build. This was a strategic movement that looks for a smooth and sustained growth of the permanent team, one of our goals for the future. We also want to increase the number of projects in Portugal, that's also a challenge for our future, as we still do a lot of projects abroad. Another challenge for the next years is to create the "Fábrica Civica" in Lisbon, an upgrade of the space we have now, with more entities working in, and with a huge civic/public usage.

Malin Mohr Warehouse Core Team minPhotography Malin Mohr

Martinho Pita Colectivo Warehouse 2 minPhotography Martinho Pita

A Day In The Office Colectivo Warehouse Colectivo Warehouse min

ColectivoWarehouse AteliersdaPenha 017 min

A Day In The Office2 ColectivoWarehouse Colectivo Warehouse minPhotography Courtesy of Colectivo Warehouse

a project powered by Itinerant Office

subscribe to our newsletter

follow us