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FIJ Zuñiga Architects and their Elegant, Efficient, and Economical Designs

Areas of Specialization

FIJ Zuñiga Architects is known for creating complete bespoke design solutions for its clients. After working for several years to hone his experience, Ar. Ivan Zuñiga established the firm in 2012, choosing to specialize in Architecture, Architectural Interiors, Engineering, & Project Management.

Ar. Ivan Zuniga Founder, FIJ Zuñiga Architects
Ar. Ivan Zuniga Founder, FIJ Zuñiga Architects

Community and Environment

Besides working with a client, the firm believes in creating a connection between the community and the environment in its projects. This is why they believe it’s necessary to ask the right questions, dissect and dig deeper for the more important requirements beyond what is said.

Once the answers to these queries are met, the design would be a perfect balance between what they want and what they need – a design that is Elegant, Efficient and Economical.

Reinvigoration of Señor Sto. Niño Hospital

It’s no surprise that FIJ Zuñiga Architects took on the challenge of reinvigorating the Señor Sto. Niño Hospital (SSNH). After it first opened its doors to the public in 1988, the healthcare facility opted to extend its capacity with six-storey, out-patient wing in 2018. This landmark addition was a project for its 30th year, commemorating its long years of service by allowing it to do more for the community.

The 3,600 sqm expansion wing led its accreditation to a 75-bed capacity, level two hospital. Along with its expansion wing, they have also renovated their existing four-storey, 2,800 sqm hospital, to meet the current demands of universal health care, all handled by FIJ Zuňiga Architects.

The SSNH was designed carefully to veer away from the usual impression of a hospital. They have used contemporary hotel design for their design inspiration to provide that cool, relaxed and welcoming vibe.

The hospital was planned on a user-eccentric approach, it provides a seamless flow for all users, from doctors to its patients, and boasts an efficient passive cooling design where the hospital can operate with minimal energy consumption. Its modern yet timeless design also represents the owners’ strong commitment to timeless love and service – an epitome state-of-the-art health care.

For the hospital, they saw the advantage of passive cooling because the site is standing with wind opportunities from North East and South West. For this reason, they placed windows on those sides to maximize natural ventilation.

Additionally, they provided tricycle parking on the perimeter because at least 40% of the community is using tricycle as their main mode of transportation. To address the potential risk of natural disasters, they elevated the hospital ground floor line at 750mm to anticipate hazardous flood levels.

“When clients’ ask ‘what’s in it for me? I would often tell them about the design efficiency of the Bahay na Bato, The most popular model of Filipino Architecture. Back then, we don’t have air conditioning yet, but the Bahay na Bato is very much habitable. More often, incorporating sustainable designs are added as a cost to the project, we must know the complete history of the site, community ethnicity and nearest natural resources to be able to provide a complete design solution.” Ar. Ivan Zuňiga

While it’s more straightforward to combine the community’s needs with a healthcare establishment, FIJ Zuňiga Architects can also apply its principles to a residential project.

Mediterranean-inspired Residence in Tarlac

A feat of a project is a residential client with a massive 3,100 sqm lot in San Clemente, Tarlac. With plenty of room to work with, it was exciting for Ar. Zuňiga’s team to design such a big development.

Balancing the owner’s preference of establishing a relaxing vibe for their kids and guests, and focusing on growing their own sustainable garden, FIJ Zuňiga Architects fused these elements under the frame of Mediterranean Architecture.

This allowed them to use only 15% of the lot for their building footprint to give way for more flexible use of outdoor elements. The property contains a swimming pool, poolside event porch, and veggie patch, all cohesively laid on an elegant landscape.

The lot’s two-storey Mediterranean-inspired residence sits at just 482 sq.m, utilizing vertical spaces with its 6.0 m high-ceiling. Inside is a private bar, music room, and library at the ground where the clients can satisfy each of their hobbies.

Along with a grand dining area, they also have two kitchens, one for formal where they can showcase their excellent cooking and baking skills using exclusive equipment, and another for their everyday use.

Its main feature is a family area at the 2nd floor is overlooking the grand living area. Neutral finishes played a good part in the design. Partnered with a generous amount of light-oak wood \ finishes, it all provides that warm and inviting atmosphere. The huge clear glass windows put emphasis on balancing indoor-outdoor living, connecting with people, and appreciating nature.

The property offers a wide range of areas for entertainment and leisure, where the family can accommodate different sets of friends and acquaintances at the same time. It’s a project that blends a taste of Europe with a touch of Filipino culture. One way of connecting both the needs of the client and of the environment is making the client understand the benefits it would give them, especially on the long run.

Sustainability is a lot more than stacking solar panels to a building’s roof to lower energy costs; it’s also about tracking the specific needs of each project and how it can be addressed in the long term.

If you want to learn more about their designs, head to their website, and click here!

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FIJ Zuñiga Architects

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