Type: Open international competition.

Location: Lisbon. Portugal

Year: 2018.

Program: Health center

Size: 1.280m2

Budget: 1.100.000



The new health center is conceived as a place to go in case of need, but around which spaces are generated able to attract and generate common moments of life among the citizens of Santa Iria da Azóia. It is a public building that aims to become a landmark in the city. The position of the new volume in the plot allows defining a strip of vegetation on the northwest side of the plot, which serves to mitigate the noise of the nearby road. It will serve to organize a plantation of native pines, so that a green space is created in the vicinity of the new building, and this will at the same time hide the surface parking for the users. A necessary distance is established between existing houses and the proposed building, providing the residential area with a new building services as well as a wooded area away from the A1 road.

The volumetry of the nearby residential buildings, as well as the proximity of Rua Alto da Cruzinha and a shopping center, invite the creation of a low-level architectural element conceived from its horizontal programmatic organization. An element with sufficient presence in the plot is thus achieved, capable of establishing itself as a new reference in the urban landscape.

Without the need to over-modify the topography of the plot, the level of 92.00 is established as the level at which the only floor of the new building that will open the functions of medical care and customer service will be organized. The inequality of the parcel, which descends south to the level 88.50, allows to organize the underground parking of the project under the main uses. By organizing the functional program on a single level, a wooded space is created, defined by an irregular geometry capable of introducing natural light into the building, generating public spaces that enjoy the sun and natural ventilation.



The overall volume of the project orders the functional program clearly, separating the public from the private rooms, from the information point next to the access. The creation of an inner courtyard around which different waiting areas are organized, aims to generate smaller, intimate spaces that serve as places before the different offices. Each of these places responds to a different geometry that shapes the inner perimeter of the new health center's patio. A native pine tree plantation serves as a companion in waiting before being seen by the physician.

The proposal should be understood as a compact building, designed from the functional logic and movement of a medical center. However, common areas are designed as places where the warmth of materials, as well as the visual relationships with the inner courtyard and the entrance of natural light, define them as pleasant areas of stay in which patients await their turn.



Once the two major dimensions of the project have been established, pedestrian access is generated at level 92.00, using an accessible ramp for people with reduced mobility as well as using stairs. The horizontal space serves as a meeting place and meeting place before accessing the health center.

Street B serves as access to the visitor's surface parking, as well as to the loading and unloading area, from level 89.50 to 92.00. The lowest plot level, 88.50, is used to locate access to underground parking, so ambulances and workers' vehicles move away from the main pedestrian entrance. The evacuation of the building in the event of a fire is made, in addition to the main access, by three different ladders, so that from the level of 92.00 reaches the level of 90.00 on the northwest facade, the level of 91.00 in the northeast and the 88.50 in the southeast, ensuring the rapid evacuation of the health center.



Around the existing olive trees, a public square is organized, a meeting place, delimited by two benches and some planters, in which the neighbors can meet and talk in a pleasant way. In addition, another urban element is introduced, because it is a fountain, under the shadow of another olive tree of new planting, and with an earlier free space able to accommodate those who approach it.

The urban emptiness created is understood as a gift to the city, a space given to pedestrians, away from vehicles and surrounded by vegetation and natural elements, which creates unique conditions of habitability that strengthen relations between neighbors. It is a former space, an urban lobby that welcomes the user of the health center and serves as an ante-room to the interior where the waiting area and medical appointments are located.


Conceived as a wooden drawer suspended in the air, at the height of the vision of who walks inside, its dimensions prevent enjoy the natural environment using the vision. Constructed with Garnica Duraplay plywood panels of dimensions 2500x1220x18, they will be painted white so that the final object becomes, from its abstraction, a reference in the landscape. An element capable of attracting the visitor and that invites to discover its interior. The simple assembly process avoids the use of additional elements, except for those necessary to join the boards together, eliminating superfluous objects that distract the visitor from the stimuli it receives from around it. A simile is established between the austerity of construction and the value of what is indispensable in the production of wine, praising the raw material in both cases.

Only the sky can be contemplated, and therefore light can penetrate into the interior of the installation. This will produce an increase in the sensitivity of the rest of the senses, especially the ear and smell. The objective is to show those elements necessary in the vineyard such as light or wind, including birds, so that in addition to the direct vision of the vines, the visitor is able to discover other factors that define the quality of the product that is get on those grounds.

After leaving the installation, an environment full of nuances will be contemplated, fruit of the discoveries of each one, which will turn the tasting of the wine produced there into a personal and unique experience in which the visitor will identify himself as part of the environment.



The distribution in the functional program plan separates, on the one hand, the public program of the health center and, on the other, the private one. The access and administration area serves as a meeting point for both parties. The part called general support is organized on both sides of a corridor, placing on each side the changing rooms and shops and placing the meeting room and cafeteria facing the public access square and the two existing olive trees. The program in which the consulting offices and specialized rooms are grouped, is organized around an interior courtyard. The waiting area is divided into smaller areas, near the offices and facing the inner garden.

The waiting time before the medical consultation should be accompanied by a pleasant atmosphere that mitigates the problems arising from the visit to the medical center. The proposal requires the creation of smaller spaces, remnants of domestic environments, in which proximity to other users and vegetation, generate a sense of warmth in the new building. Under level 92.00, parking is arranged on one level, connected by a communication center with two lifts, from which you can access the reception space next to the main entrance.



The geometry that defines the waiting areas of the medical center serves to track the perimeter of the interior patio of the project. The entrances and projections of the facades generate places where the light and the proposed vegetation penetrate the interior of the building in very different ways. It is planned to install several native pines, able to set up an outdoor space in which patients can go to sunbathing, as well as perform various rehabilitation exercises, if necessary.