Luís Cunha was born in Porto on 14 April 1933, where he attended the Architecture course at the Porto School of Fine Arts, which he concluded in 1953.
Until 1966, he worked in the Porto City Hall, and then began to work as an architect, first in Porto and then in Lisbon.
He had a very particular expressionist style and was responsible for the projects of several buildings and religious facilities that brought him fame. Some of these works include the Parish Church of Santa Joana Princesa, in Aveiro (1972-1976); a convent and seminar in Braga (1979); the Dominican Fathers church and convent and a house for nuns in Fátima (1978), in Fátima; Carvalhido Church, consecrated to the Scared Heart of Jesus, Mary and Joseph (1967-1969) and Nevogilde Church, in Porto; a house for nuns in Parede (1977), Lisbon; Ponta Delgada Church, Açores (1980); Pindelo Church, in Oliveira de Azeméis; Cristo Rei Church, Portela de Sacavém (1982), in Loures, inaugurated in the 90's (with marble sculpture depicting symbols of the Evangelists designed by the architect himself) and the General Layout Plan of the Cristo Rei Sanctuary, in Almada, done together with Domingos Ávila Gomes (1984) – a main building to receive visitors, with the Rectory and Administrative Services, a chapel, a meeting room and an exhibition gallery. Luís Cunha is also the author of the new altar in the Viseu See (1991-1992).
Luís Cunha was also in charge of some civil architecture works, such as administrative, cultural, tourist and residential buildings. Some of the buildings were never built, for example, a new municipal theatre for Porto, together with Januário Godinho, municipal services for Aveiro, with X. Olazabal, and a building in República Avenue, in Lisbon. He is the author of Jardim do Ouro, with a sculpture of Lagoa Henriques, in Porto (1960); an auditorium in Ponta Delgada, in the Azores (1971-78); the head-office of the newspaper "Diário do Minho", in Braga (1972); a housing complex in Penafiel, in collaboration with D. Rebelo (1978-1980); the projects for the new Azores Regional Assembly, in Horta, together with M. Naia (1980); the layout plans of a square and buildings for Vila do Conde; the new facilities of the Portuguese Catholic University, in Lisbon; the projects for the university residence hall in Campus II of the University of Porto, with Domingos Ávila Gomes.
In the Azores, he projected a tourist area in Pópulo Beach, in the Island of S. Miguel, the marine-tourist complex in Marginal Avenue in Ponta Delgada (1977), and suggested a project for the reconstruction of Angra do Heroísmo, after the earthquake on 1 January 1980.
He also developed projects in the field of Town Planning, and participated in the Porto Layout Plan with Robert Auzelle. Some of his other activities include drawing and painting.
In May 2009, he participated the 1st Forum on Religious Architecture, held in Póvoa de Varzim, with a paper entitled "Arquitectura Religiosa: do movimento de renovação às realizações do Presente e às interrogações do Futuro" [a paper on religious architecture, including renovation works, current standings and future expectations].
(Universidade Digital / Gestão de Informação, 2010)