Born in Lisbon, in 1963, he graduated in architecture from the Architecture Faculty of Lisbon’s Technical University in 1986. In 1983, he began working with the architect Gonçalo Byrne, before developing projects with his brother Francisco Aires Mateus in 1988 and establishing Aires Mateus Arquitectos. A professor at Lisbon’s Universidade Autónoma since 1998 and Universidade Lusíada since 1997, he was also an invited professor at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, USA, between 2002 and 2005; at Fakulteta za Arhitekturo, Universa v Ljubljani, Ljubljana, Slovenia during 2003/2004 and has been teaching at Accademia di Architectura, Mendrízio, Switzerland since 2001. He has also been invited to several seminars and conferences worldwide.
Manuel Aires Mateus’ work has been distinguished with international awards, such as the Enor 2006; Contractworld 2007; II Bienal Ibero Americana de Arquitetura; the Luigi Cosenza Prize; the Aveiro Architecture and Urbanism Prize and Prémio Valmor 2002. Aires Mateus Arquitectos were invited to feature their work at the Venice Architecture Biennale by Kazuyo Sejima in 2010, presenting the exhibition Voids, and by David Chipperfield in 2012, with the intervention Radix at the Arsenale venue.