Baena Day-care Center



Status: Completed

Location: Baena, Córdoba, Spain_MAP

Awards: Competition First Prize

Félix Hernández Prize 2013 : Special Mention

Publications: AV Yearbok 2013



Plataforma Arquitectura


Competition motto: “Staring Eyes”

Location: Calle Demetrio de los Ríos, Baena, Córdoba, Spain.

Floor area: 1540 m2

Budget: 1.350.004,63 €

Competition: 2008

Construction accomplishment: 2013

Architects:            Francisco Gómez Díaz (Born 11.07.1956)

Baum Lab:            Marta Barrera Altemir (Born 02.02.1979)

Javier Caro Domínguez (Born 11.01.1979)

Miguel Gentil Fernández (Born 27.09.1979)



Quantity surveyor: Francisco Sepúlveda Molina

Construction company: Ehisa/Elecnor

Developer: Consejería de Salud de la Junta de Andalucía

Structure calculation: Francisco Duarte y Asociados

Engineering: Rafael Espejo & Ass.

Architecture collaborators: Matheus Mehler, Ariane Chiaranda, Pablo Gómez.

                                               Photographer: Jesús Granada (


The historic city is the whole city, for it could be considered a palimpsest of overlapped layers, some visible, some subtle. The urban grid is then readable in historical terms, no matter what time it was actually built. The project tried to reach coherence both with new developments and the old town, contributing to a better understanding of the urban layout, not only by the users, but by every citizen.

 Baena daycare center+baum architects+spain+china (3)

The new day care center for the elderly has a bordering nature. With its hinge-like condition, it links the recent urban extension and the old town, operating in the boundary and trying to achieve a consequent presence, both within the territory and the urban realm. Learning from certain built configurations often found in the traditional, steepness-conditioned grid of Baena, the volumes deconstruct the absorption of the patio house, in order to spread the in-between spaces to the landscape. In a dual process, the project brings the landscape and the historic landmarks into the building and, at the same time, tightens up the city with new urban vectors towards the limits of the ancient town footprint. The old town and the building pour into one another.


Void and mass click together in the proposal. The in-between terraces create new sightseeing spots from which contemplating (and apprehending) the urban configuration. Simultaneously, the three volumes borrow framed views from the old town, which climbs up the hill right before the great eye-like windows. Resembling Giambattista Nolli’s Plan of Rome approach, both the interior and the exterior spaces are conceived as extensions of the public space. Clearly under the influence of local Mediterranean tradition, a complex configuration of permeability degrees creates a constant indoor-outdoor connection, enabling a permanent presence of the gardens and the views in the inside.


An infinite loop walk provides the elderly with the possibility of wandering while watching the impressive views. From the other side of town, when looking from the castle, the new landmark enables a new comprehension of the whole city: its scale, its limits, its historical evolution, its relationship with the territory.


A place to look from and to be seen.