Chilean architect Nicolas Moyano created Nube Verde to provide the elderly residents of El Hogar San Camilo not only with a place for repose, but with a billowing pavilion in which they can connect with nature. The residents of the home in Linares, Chile aren't living in the lap of retirement luxury—far from it. Their small home was founded by five nuns in 2000 who wanted to provide a space for the aged who had fallen to sickness, mental illness, been abandoned or worse. Here, money raised by the congregation and donations from the community—which range from cash to a box of fruit and a sack of potatoes—keep the 56 residents well-fed and sheltered.
When Moyano saw the plight of these individuals and sought to create something that could improve the quality of life of these people; a model that would not just work in a nursing homes, but anywhere in the world. What he created was Nube Verde, which is currently being enjoyed as an overhanging wood construction, but once the succulents take hold of the structure, the canopy will transform into a “floating” green cloud.
Nicolas Moyano proposed a green and winding volume, completely off the ground, that would be a notable presence throughout the garden. The roof structure is perched lightly on the pillars — like the foliage on their trunks — further accentuating a feeling of being in nature with all its organic movements, sounds and textures. The canopy provides plenty of shade so that the residents can use the space all day to relax alone, pray, or congregate together for conversation and games.
Viewing the project at a distance, the volume is solid and dense, but when entering the platforms an airy and open sensation takes hold. The pavilion is broken into two open sections, one of which is meant to be an outdoor chapel where residents can find a stature of the Virgin Mary. By leaving gaps in the canopy above head, those seated below are offered a seat with a full and clear view to the sky. The dynamic construction and pending greenery will also lend to beautiful light refraction, bending light and shadow playfully on the ground.
With a simple gesture that ties so closely with nature, Moyano beautifully finds a way to improve the quality of life for these few who are in the last stages of their life. He’s found that if the elders are happy, it shows in everyone around them, creating a more positive environment and energy at Hogar San Camilo.