Name: H.E. Salvador Eugénio Soares dos Reis Pires
Institution: Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
Course of study: Bachelor's of Architecture
H.E. Salvador Eugénio Soares dos Reis Pires is an alumnus of the Australian Development Scholarship and the current Minister of Public Works in Timor-Leste’s 8th Constitutional Government. He graduated with a Bachelor’s of Architecture from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), Melbourne, Australia, in 2007 with a first class honors.
His professional career started in 2006 as a Design Assistant with H2o, an internationally renowned architecture firm based in Melbourne, Australia.
When he returned to Timor-Leste in 2007, he worked for a locally-based architect design firm preparing interior designs for Câmara Ecclesiástica, a building owned by the Dili Diocese.
In 2009 he took part in the preparation of the Government of Timor-Leste’s infrastructure plan, which was later incorporated in the National Strategic Plan 2009-2030.
Minister Pires also established his own architecture consulting firm, PIRES Architects, in 2007. His firm designs and supervises several high-profile projects including the Civil Service Commission, Maliana Diocese Guest House, the future BNCTL HQ, future Ministry of Defence, Kasait Kindergarten School with triple-functions of library, classroom, and meeting hall and the FDTL Training Building in Metinaro.
He not only contributes directly and indirectly to the creation of job opportunities for his fellow Timorese and provides free house design for the general public but also contributes to his community by sharing his skills, knowledge and experience teaching at UNPAZ and João Saldanha University.
A passionate advocate for sustainable architecture, Minister Pires is bringing new expertise and fresh impetus to the development of Timor-Leste’s infrastructure.
During his tenure, several major reforms have been introduced including the creation of two public utility companies and two regulatory bodies for electricity and water sector. He is also working to increase the number of Timorese staff in technical and advisory jobs that previously were predominantly held by expatriates.
Since assuming office in 2018, he’s not only overseen the construction and rehabilitation of several thousand kilometers of road, water and electricity projects but also has several big plans in the pipeline. These include the gasification of generators in two power plants, solar parks, the construction of additional national, municipal and rural roads, clean water and sanitation for municipal and rural communities and 2,000 affordable homes through a public, private partnership arrangement. The later aims at kick-starting and incentivising the housing market and reorganising the city’s dwellings.
Reflecting on his work to date he told us “architecture requires conceptual thinking, so you need to understand the context and a lot of planning is required to execute and resolve problems that you want to address” What is eminently clear is that architecture remains very dear to the minister’s heart!