José Castro Caldas was born in 1981 and holds a master degree in Architecture since 2007 at the Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa, Portugal. He went to Manaus – Amazonas, Brazil in 2011, searching for the opportunity to design sustainable architecture in a social and environmental needing area.
He had an agreement with a local NGO (FAS) that deals with local Amazon Communities and presented the project to the community of Tumbira where it was accepted. He remained in this remote community, in the middle of the forest for six months helping to build the “José Garrido arts and crafts house”. He went back to Lisbon at the beginning of 2012 where he gathered a team of experts to help design a prototype to prove that with low costs, it is possible to be innovative in sustainability without high costs in construction. The “prototype of a sustainable house for the Amazon” was used to negotiate with FAS for the possibility of another construction. Since they were interested, José got back to the Amazon in another community – Tiririca, to design and help build a lodge, also for six months.
This last project in Tiririca obtained a grant by DGARTES, Portuguese Government Cultural Affairs and was included in the 2012/2013 program of Portugal in Brazil, led by the Portuguese Foreign Ministry Affairs.