A Village In A Building.
Nursing home for the erderly in Aldeamayor de San Martín
Sometimes architecture gives us the opportunity to give away. To censor. Questioning a way of understanding the housing of one of the most vulnerable sectors of our society –our elders. Because in many cases they live in buildings that were managed in search of profit or the optimization of the economic resource. Endless corridors, like clinics, that house rooms without personality on both sides. In some cases, crossing the threshold of the useful life implies the abandonment of the home; the loss of memory, disorientation, a farewell to everyday life and to that life that is left behind on walls, furniture and landscapes. Sometimes it only remains to live. A life without a home; minutes and hours without a clock.
The obsession of the project was to create a place rather than a site; something that architects do not know how to do. The rooms are small houses, identical but apparently randomly grouped in order to underline individuality; and – I stress – the individuality of each person who lives there. And all this group of houses, of this small village, is set around a garden in which acacias, grass and rosebushes grow, which also allows the visit of light and the vision of sky for those who remain prostrate. A sloping roof is not accidental, nor is a door-gate at the entrance of each room, nor the chairs and tables when leaving the small home; where the corridors are not such but they form streets and small squares, that allow the close relationship with neighbours, relatives, and speakers; in line with the conception of neighbourhood based on chairs at the front door with which we are familiar in rural Castilian Spain.
The architecture allows you to be a little closer to the ones that were everything and deserve more.