THE COMPANY

José Forjaz  •  Arquitectos specialized in urban and architectural design projects with a large experience in southern Africa, specially in Mozambique, where the firm designed and worked on projects throughout the whole country. Its main competence is in the field of educational buildings at the primary, secondary and especially in the university levels.

The firm does not include in its competences the specialists for the different engineering fields. Along the years we always favoured working with mozambican firms and have developed excellent professional bonds with the firms and specialists that could assure the competence, efficiency and commitment necessary for the highest level of  quality that we demand.

José Forjaz • Arquitectos, Lda., is a private and independent company, which was formed by the association, in a partnership, of all the 8 architects working previously with José Forjaz Architect, a consultant with more than 30 years of practice in Southern Africa.

The company is registered as an urban and regional planning, architecture and design projects consultants and has in its history a great number of realizations in the fields of:

- housing and residential buildings;
- academic  buildings (primary, secondary, and university levels);
- office, administrative and commercial buildings;
- religious buildings;
- urban design and planning schemes;
- monumental and special structures;
- industrial design ;
- graphic design;
- interior decoration;
- furniture design.

The company has 15 registered architects, in its staff, with professional experience ranging from 5 to 32 years. Six of those are, also, teaching at the Faculty of Architecture and Physical Planning of the Eduardo Mondlane University.

The Company has the higher concentration of professionals and is the better equipped architectural consulting unit in the country and has accumulated a vast experience in the realization of architectural projects throughout all provinces of Mozambique and in neighbouring countries.

All the partners are registered architects in Mozambique and the principal is also registered in South Africa and Portugal.

Besides the professional partners the company has two administrative assistants who are also partners in the company.

For engineering and quantity surveying the company has established solid relationships with a number of local consultants with whom it has defined sound routines of work tested in many successfully realized projects.

We regard ourselves as a very dynamic group of individuals’ profoundly motivated and involved in active research and with a deep knowledge of local conditions in what regards the cultural, environmental and technical dimensions of the country and the region.

We take each project as an opportunity to develop a deeper relationship with our clients in order to achieve the highest possible quality for the building environment of our country.

The professional experience of the company must be seen in the perspective of architect José Forjaz experience, as well as the experience accumulated through the work of the society.

This experience begins, at the end of the 50’s, as draughtsman at the Public Works Provincial Services, and of his work with Architect Miranda Guedes (Pancho) and, during the years of his training at the ESBAP at Porto, Portugal with architects João Andresen, Arnaldo Araújo, Frederico Jorge and Laginha and with architect Octávio Lixa Felgueiras, during many years head of the Architectural Patrimony Services in Portugal.

After his graduation he worked, integrated in the office of architects Conceição Silva, Maurício de Vasconcelos and Bartolomeu Costa Cabral, the most important portuguese office of the 60’s.

After his graduation, (Suma cum Laude), and the years of military service, he obtained the Masters Degree of Science in Architecture at the University of Columbia in New York and came back to Africa opening a private office in Mbabane, Swaziland where he designed hundreds of projects during the seven years he spent there, coming back to Mozambique at the end of 1974.

During the first 10 years of independence Mr. Forjaz worked for the government, but in keeping always the practice of architecture, almost exclusively for the design of institutional projects.

During this period he took the post of National Director for Housing and was subsequently appointed Secretary of State for Physical Planning as a member of the government.

From 1985, and with periods of absence from Mozambique, as professor in Italian and American universities, he was put in charge of organizing and subsequently directing the Faculty of Architecture and Physical Planning of UEM, where he conducted several courses of architectural composition, history of architecture, landscape architecture, etc., systematically orienting the graduation work of the majority of the graduates.

This professional and academic experience has profoundly influenced the character of the consulting company in keeping a systematic attitude of research and deepening the themes that the several projects commanded necessitate.

The company has been particularly successful, and in demand, for the design and supervision of institutional projects and has worked for many of the Mozambican state institutions.
  DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES

Our group of architects – physical planners – urban designers, is a consulting firm competent to answer all dimensions of the habitable space, in the African context in general and, primarily, in the Mozambican context.

This techno-creative team, constituted in an enterprise where all are partners, is guided by a code of ethic-professional principles that establishes as premise, indispensable to the acceptance of any order, its validity in terms of its social relevancy.

Our activity covers a large spectrum of themes from consultancy for legislative aspects of the human settlements to furniture and graphic design, to architecture and urban design, to the intervention and qualification strategy definition of the degraded urban areas.

The criteria for the participation in this group of professionals, motivated by shared principles, were and are, permanently, reinforced through a process of constant evaluation of the coherence of the answer and of the quality of the services rendered to the community and the client.

The quality assessment is, or intends to be, always measured by the allegiance to an attitude of frontal refuse of the mercenary aspects of the profession.

Naturally this is not an easy fight and the lack of speculative projects in our portfolio of projects surely confirms the coherence that we maintain, through more than forty years of projects, with the principles that we consider of universal validity.

These principles materialise in the search for a rational, elaborated for each project, that gives priority to the aspects of social justice and environmental sustainability.

It is also a responsibility that we feel as ours, to establish patterns of professionalism, that are not normally required by the client, but that we consider indispensable to the construction of a reference platform that, for historical reasons, was eliminated or severely erased from the construction ethos in Mozambique.

In this sense the didactic activity that the majority of the team performs, as teachers in the Faculty of Architecture and Physical Planning of the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, where the majority was formed, is of a capital importance.

Finally it is also fundamental for our activity the establishment of an intransigent relationship with the builder where the discovery of new processes and technologies is encouraged and shared to the benefit of the client and for the development of an essential sector of the evolution of the Mozambican society.