ESCALA is a Lisbon based landscape architecture studio that draws inspiration from ecological, aesthetic and cultural concepts, searching for new stages of equilibrium which manifest in the harmony between Men and Place.
Founded by Marta Palha and Miguel Coelho de Sousa, ESCALA follows a decade-long collaboration where complemental characters are evidenced, design methodologies are consolidated and an intervention concept is affirmed. Marta practices a global, creative and methodical approach, stemming from a vast experience coordinating national and international projects and competitions, on a wide range of scales. Miguel conjugates accuracy, intuition and creativity, cultivates his love of plants and gardening, and gathers experience in design and maintenance, namely in rural and heritage contexts. A combined approach which relates the major dynamics of landscape with gardens’ small equilibriums; the rural and urban framework; the historic and contemporary ambiences.
ESCALA develops partnerships in the fields of architecture, engineering, conservation and restauration of landscape heritage, plant nurseries and gardening, granting a comprehensive ability to address private or institutional clients, with scopes ranging from residential, tourism, cultural, educational or health projects.
ESCALA [scale], as proportion between reality and its representation, relates the dimensions of space and time which are fundamental in approaching landscape intervention.
ESCALA, as succession, identifies itself with the evolutionary character of landscape, managing stages and overlapping layers over a spatial-temporal reality in permanent mutation – daily, seasonal, annual, successional…
ESCALA, as halt, comprehends its action as a momentary suspension of fluxes, cycles, systems and other natural and cultural dynamics of landscape, allowing for an interpretation of its processes and granting the ability to influence them.
ESCALA is inspired by ecological, aesthetic and cultural concepts, integrating them, synthetically and intuitively, in landscape design. A technical, precise and methodical work, anticipating the creative moment – construction– and guiding, through time, the search for new stages of equilibrium which manifest in the harmony between Men and Place.
Marta Palha (Lisbon, 1983)
Graduated in Landscape Architecture from the Technical University of Lisbon – School of Agriculture, in 2007.
In the same year, starts her professional activity in the award-winning Lisbon based landscape architecture studio PROAP, integrating the project coordination team in 2013. Collaborates in diverse competitions and projects, national and international, namely in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, Lebanon, Bahrain, Angola, Mozambique and Brazil.
In 2017, starts working as a freelance landscape architect, collaborating with several architecture offices, developing projects with scopes raging from public to private, particularly in residential and tourism developments.
In 2020, founds ESCALA Landscape Architecture with Miguel.
Miguel Coelho de Sousa (Lisbon, 1979)
Graduated in Landscape Architecture from the Technical University of Lisbon – School of Agriculture, in 2003.
In 2002, starts his professional activity in the Lisbon based landscape architecture studio ACB, participating in the design of private gardens, rural landscapes and conservation and restauration of historic gardens.
Between 2008 and 2017 joins the award-winning Lisbon based landscape architecture studio PROAP, collaborating in projects of parks and gardens in Portugal, Angola, Brazil, Italy and Switzerland. Coordinates an investigation on plant species, planting schemes and sustainable irrigation practices, and its applicability to projects in arid and Mediterranean climates.
Between 2003 and 2019 works as a freelance landscape architect (www.miguelcoelhodesousa.com); in parallel, leads courses on garden design, historic gardens and gardening, in Serralves Foundation, Porto (2004-2007), and in the Friends of Ajuda Botanical Garden (since 2007). Regarding heritage, acts as consultant on maintenance, conservation and restauration of the gardens of Paço de Belas (Sintra, 2003-2018), and, currently, the gardens of Marqueses de Fronteira Palace (Lisbon).
Founding associate of the Portuguese Association of Historic Gardens (2003) and current member of the Board.
Associate of the Friends of Ajuda Botanical Garden (2009), member of the Board, co-author of the educational and cultural programming.
In 2020, founds ESCALA Landscape Architecture with Marta.