World Architecture Festival Prize Awarded to ULIS

ISS would like to congratulate United Lisbon International School (ULIS) in Portugal on its recent accolade at the World Architecture Festival. ULIS received the prestigious “The Lisbon” prize, honoring “the best building in the city” and recognizing the campus’s expert combination of form, function, purpose, and sustainability in the renovation/refurbishment/regeneration of a building from the 1950s.

The ISS School Start Up, Management, and Operations team is proud to have provided the educational programming for the redesign of the building in 2019. As we see more international schools consider renovations rather than new builds, the ULIS campus is a fantastic example of what great international schools can aspire to with their educational design space.

Below, Dr. Dick Moore (former ISS Vice President, now actively supporting the ISS-Lumo collaboration) shares his reflections on the ULIS design journey.


Reflections from Dr. Dick Moore

“Our partnership with United Lisbon International School began with a trip to Lisbon in January 2019 to complete a visioning exercise with the school’s founders, Roman and Chitra Stern, and other key stakeholders. Our dialogue with the Sterns prior to the trip indicated their commitment to sustainable building and the opportunity they had to revitalize vacant buildings in the Lisbon city center into world-class centers of learning. ISS was, of course, excited to participate in such a project.

The building designated for the school was a former private university where the classroom spaces were sized and shaped for a more traditional, didactic form of teaching. Perhaps the greatest challenge was to adapt the spaces to provide more space for instructional flexibility and student movement.

The ISS role was to define and develop the school’s building program including detailed educational specifications about room size, classroom numbers, public spaces, room/space locations and adjacencies. These educational specifications were provided to the architect so that the eventual design would meet the requirements of the progressive and innovative educational program envisioned by the Sterns. Our recommendations regarding these adaptations really came to life through the talents of Stern’s architect, Mr. Eduardo Capinha Lopes.

The World Architecture Festival award is more about the Stern’s commitment to transforming these vacant buildings into world-class centers of learning. The Stern’s vision coming true is worthy of this prize.

We appreciated the opportunity to work with ULIS and are so pleased to see the news of this impressive accolade. Congratulations again to the Sterns, the school’s leadership, and entire ULIS community.”


You can read more about the World Architecture Festival award in The Portugal News article.

United Lisbon International School (ULIS) in Portugal is one of several new schools ISS assisted opening to begin the 2020-2021 school year. Despite the extreme challenges of the pandemic, the ULIS ownership and leadership worked together with ISS guidance to ensure that teachers and staff were ready in September 2020 to receive 120 students, which was above expected opening day enrollment. ULIS teachers and staff worked with ISS and Common Ground Collaborative personnel to ensure a strong opening of the new school. We’re thrilled to see the ULIS community continue to thrive, and we look forward to seeing what other greatness lies ahead for them!


Learn more about creating a world-class international school with ISS School Start Up and Managment here.