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ZA Studio was founded by Zélia Alves at the beginning 2022 in Portugal.

With almost 20 years of work experience and after nearly 14 years living in different cultural contexts (Spain, the UK and New Zealand), Zelia Alves worked at some of the best award-winning international practices. She decided to return to her hometown and start a new chapter in her personal and professional life by opening an architectural studio.

She strongly believes that to achieve a responsible and bold professional approach, one must discover and experiment with different cultures and ways of thinking. As a result, values such as resilience, confidence and experience will be an asset facing new challenges. 

Being part of multicultural teams, having responsibilities in different project stages, and thinking about different building typologies through diverse perspectives and methodologies contribute to a solid and vibrant idea of a Studio rather than just a practice or office.

The concept of ZA Studio reflects gathering, sharing, and experimenting, working alongside a diverse group of individuals with different skills, personalities and ways of thinking. The aim of ZA-Studio as an architectural design team is to achieve the best results through this concept.

Brainstorming sessions @ StudioPacific Architecture

Brainstorming sessions @ StudioPacific Architecture

ZA-Studio will bring a fresh and contemporary way of building teams and projects based on a plural and multicultural perspectives, spearheading these ideas to a diverse range of projects.


Five Premises for an Architecture Project 

Five premises for an Architecture Project is a manifesto of guidelines representing the foundation of our way of thinking when approaching a new project.

It contains the five most important subjects we must embrace throughout the process.

It is a holistic approach in which it is impossible to disconnect any of these five premises from each other. These premises are not only a way of thinking but also an important tool that helps us understand individual roles within the project and during the entire process.


Doing this, we are confident our everyday work will achieve the best results and quality – a beautiful and responsible architectonic object fitting clients’ and environmental needs.


We consider these five permises a starting point of a long journey.

Image by tirachardz on Freepik

Zelia Alves Studio

Our Work Ethics and Values

Diversity, creativity, freedom, and responsibility are the key elements for the best results.

We work as a team bringing along with us all the people involved in the process, clients, consultants, and all other people with whom we may learn new skills and knowledge.

Zélia Alves Studio

Building a Team

One of the most important elements in a business is the Team.


Rather than being about numbers, ZA-Studio strongly believes the team is about individuals in the right place with the right skills, self-motivated, with a responsible work ethic and freedom.


To build a “dream team”, we need to emphasise communication and collaboration, and every member is equally important for the success of a project.


We lead and do our projects through questions until we get the right answer.


Diversity, creativity, freedom, and responsibility are the key elements for the best results.

We believe the word Studio means all these values and work ethics.

ZA-Studio can be a physical or virtual space where different enthusiastic people are working and researching through different perspectives towards the same goal.

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