Rebalance, Reinvent, Regenerate - a story from the heart.
Marc’s idea to open shop in Lisbon came up during the covid period in 2020. After a tough time in lock down and seeing projects being put on hold, he reflected on the way forward.
He wanted MKA to go back somewhat to the boutique agency it used to be, mostly working on self initiated projects with people that embrace harmony and innovation. Thus he decided to open a small atelier in Lisbon, combined synergistically with a real estate development and branding studio in Amsterdam. He therefore delegated part of his leading role at MKA Amsterdam to the capable hands of new associates and partners. Together they reorganised MKA Amsterdam into a lean BIM-oriented architectural practice focussing on complex urban projects and innovative quests around the future of construction, living and working.
With a good friend, owner of Hotel Palacio Verride and cultural entrepreneur Kees Eijrond, he bought an abandoned farm in Azoia/Meco, dreaming about becoming farmers in the weekends. For this initiative he designed a subtle house – a new step in his personal development – with only natural and Portuguese re-used, recycled and bio-based materials.
This inspired Kees and him to start to host events around topics such as sustainable development, regenerative farming, bio-based construction, healthy living/cities and urban stress reduction – the Lisbon Club. The Lisbon Club became a platform for debate and networking with a community of impact entrepreneurs in Lisbon.
Then Marc found the perfect place to project these new ideas on to: Porto Brandão, an abandoned village opposite of Belem. He bought a small old house over there and developed a plan to regenerate the village with the help of international entrepreneurs, artists and investors. They bought several old houses and plots of land and are working together now to revitalise the village into an amazing place to live, work, for art, leisure and tourism. Currently Marc is developing a high end co-living estate with 44 townhouses with river view for foreigners who want to partly live in Portugal. The project also includes studios and co-working facilities for digital nomads. Ultimately the MKA Lisbon atelier and a Farm Hotel will also be integrated in the plan. Thus guests can combine leisure with surfing, cooking and urban farming and will be enabled to participate in a non profit community hub and carpentry workshop where MKA will create its own furniture line based on traditional techniques and materials with local carpenters.
For more information, check out the Nomalides website.