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Last week I went to visit my old high school, where I studied for almost two years. And as I was on my way to the bakery where I used to go with my friends, I stopped for a second and realized that was exactly the place I wanted to talk about. In front of the bakery, there´s a big white building sorrounded by trees. It´s the nursing home where my grandpa used to live before he died.

While watching at this peaceful place, I wondered how many times did I just passed in front of it without thinking about him, how many times I just went on autopilot and did not stop for a second to analize the things that surrounded me: the old and new buildings, the sound of old people talking, the smell of fresh bread and hot coffee…

It was then when I decided to do so, to sit in front of this building while drinking coffee and thinking about how it felt to be on the inside: how calmed the trees made me feel, how I used to like the sound of the fountain that was in the middle of the backyard. At some point, it made me feel safer, more comfortable to be in there, isolated from the rest of the world but surrounded by nature and the pureness of the white walls and the bright colors of the furniture. But out of the blue, I remembered the nursery instrumental that was all over the place, reminding me it was not only a calmed and peaceful place, but also a place for the ill, a place where some people abandoned the old ones. It gave me goosebumps to think that a place like that was meant to give some peace to those who needed it.

But at the same time, I was fascinated by this new use of architecture I learned: architecture made to relive you, to make you feel good and calmed like if you where in a whole new world, isolated from the concerns and the fast life other were living out of there. It was like literature and I loved how poetic it felt.

It made me happy thinking that my grandpa was able to feel that comfort every day. I like to think that all those things that made me feel comfortable for a couple of hours, made him and the people that worked and lived there, feel better, more calmed and happier. That the sound of the fountain made them feel less stressed, that the bright colors brought them more happiness, that the plants that surrounded all the building actually made them feel like they were isolated from the rest of the world, as if they were on the nature.

Coming back to reality, I realized that even if I’d entered there right now and stayed on the backyard, trying to focus on those sensations, I would not feel the same way. The sounds, smells, the lighting and even the weather and your state of mind are the main conditioning factors that lead us to the impressions we have about a place. Therefore, you are always getting new impressions and sensations about the same places, rediscovering them every time you put some attention on them.

Isn’t that exciting too?