A small health center in Zuia (Murgia, Álava) integrates various cultural elements, seeking the feeling that this place has always been there: a tree, a dry garden, an interior patio, a simple volume and lots of natural light are the ingredients . Although there are many more.

Studio Name: JAAM
Design Team: Juncal Aldamizechevarría, Olatz Arrizabalaga, Ander Marquet Ryan.
Area: 672.40 m2
Year: 2020
Location: Murgia, Zuia. Alava, Spain.
Consultants: MB-ark, Indotec.
Photography Credits: Elker Azketa
Other Credits: drawings: Ander Marquet Ryan.

Health Center of Murgia, Zuia By JAAM - Sheet1
©Elker Azketa

The design responds to the purpose of working with the visitor’s experience at the moment of their arrival at the entrance, being attracted by a patio inhabited by a centenary olive tree around which the uses are arranged. In the prismatic volume of the building, the light enters through large regular openings that pierce the exterior facades, the larger openings correspond to the circulation spaces, to the more public areas, and the smaller openings to the private areas; function and form, there is no order of priority.

The environment is rural and therefore the architecture carried out is of a local nature and in a certain sense traditional; due to the thick walls, the regular volume and the sloping roofs. The austerity of its facades links it to the existing traditional houses on this slope of Mount Gorbea, anonymous constructions that arise from the place, like one more emanation from the earth. The result, however, is formally modern, with wide interior spaces and open views, the sensation sought is that of a space where a person wants to be because, unconsciously, it is perceived as known, close, vernacular.

Health Center of Murgia, Zuia By JAAM - Sheet3
©Elker Azketa

The quality of the craftsmanship is manifested in the bricks with which the facades are built, solid pieces, made by hand and, therefore, equal and different from each other. A heavy architecture is derived from this material, lightened by the color white, with thick walls that allow deep and well-cut openings. The factory rises sincerely, showing well-marked joints that give it better performance, intentionally located above some windows, playing with the technical conditions to work on the composition.

Health Center of Murgia, Zuia By JAAM - Sheet5
©Elker Azketa

The fence, which usually serves to distance and separate, here gently opens and accompanies the path to the entrance. Access to the interior routes is quickly recognized from the reception, both for the orientation of the users and to allow their control by the staff, guaranteeing the privacy of the patients.

Health Center of Murgia, Zuia By JAAM - Sheet7
©Elker Azketa

Healing environments are those that reduce user agitation and anxiety. Therefore, the most important objective of these healthcare architectures is the creation of an environment that helps the patient to put aside their concerns and feel comfortable during their stay, in a space that is as pleasant as possible, showing the potential that architecture has for take care of two of the most precious assets of the human being: health and quality of life.


JAAM is a team made up of Juncal Aldamizechevarría, Olatz Arrizabalaga and Ander Marquet Ryan, in continuous collaboration with other technicians from different specialties.

His work basically consists of buildings for the public administration as a result of competitions; cultural, educational, sports, health or residential buildings, among other types.

At JAAM we understand architecture as an exciting game, in which, starting from a global idea of ​​spaces, light, scale, volume, materials and shape, the implementation on the plot is incorporated in an orderly manner, with special attention to the accesses, orientations and the articulation between the spaces of the Program, using functionality as a development engine.

The necessary rationality tends to an adequate ordering of the elements and the challenge is to achieve a perfect balance where creativity articulates the order while preserving the essence of the original idea.


Rethinking The Future (RTF) is a Global Platform for Architecture and Design. RTF through more than 100 countries around the world provides an interactive platform of highest standard acknowledging the projects among creative and influential industry professionals.