How Will Coronavirus Affect Architectural Design
- Residential Spaces.
As we isolate in our homes, we are being forced to adapt our spaces to suit new changes in living.
Dining rooms are being converted into makeshift classrooms, lounges are being converted into exercise studios and our kitchens have never been used so much.
Adults are working more from home, children are studying more at home, we are all exercising more at home, so we need our homes to cater for these tasks but we also need spaces to relax and take our mind off these tasks.
The coronavirus will affect how we design all spaces in the future.
Our children all need areas to carry out their studies,
- These spaces should be separated from bedrooms or lounges as children need to be able to know the difference between playtime and study time.
- Studying can be very difficult with the distractions that a bedroom has to offer.
- With limited space in the home, the corner of a room could be identified as solely for study use, this space can then be shut away when the room needs to be used for something else.
Working from home is not new to us, but it was almost seen as optional; being forced into working from home has actually made us realise that we can do this. Because we have to!
- With the storage and file sharing capabilities of modern technology, we do not need large spaces to work from, everything can be accessed from our desk or laptop computers.
- Having meetings with work colleagues is actually very easy with the various video meeting technology that is now available. What we are finding though is that the spaces we live in must adapt to provide a suitable space for these video meetings.
- Lighting becomes important so as not to cause glare but to illuminate correctly.
- Materials in the space become important so as not to cause echoing or muffling of sounds.
- With good lighting and materials chosen for qualities such as sound absorbance rather than just colour, we can also enhance our online social meetings as well as the work meetings.
We need space to exercise, the coronavirus has shown us how important it is to maintain good health.
- The various online fitness tutorials are plentiful, and have shown us that we do not need a lot of space to exercise. We can easily create enough space within our homes to workout in front of a screen with an online coach.
- Turning a spare bedroom into a gym will offer more reward than it sitting there waiting for a guest to visit and stay. Exercise equipment is available that can be hidden away for when the room needs to be used for something else temporarily.
Kitchens are being used far more than they used to.
- Many of us are now having 3 meals a day at home, that’s an increase of 33% for most people. Our kitchens are getting hammered!
- With the affect to eating out that the coronavirus will change, we will be eating and entertaining at home more.
- Our diets have changed as we are eating out less, and we are focusing more on the food that we have available within our homes, therefore storing food for longer periods of time is becoming a necessity. Adding a pantry or more freezer storage will allow you to visit shops less.
- Widow ledges can become herb gardens.
- Vegetable patches in gardens are becoming far more popular, small pop up greenhouses can turn around tomatoes in 6 to 8 weeks from seed.
- The smell from baking at home, cannot be beaten; this is a fantastic distraction from all the woes of the world. Providing space in your kitchen to store and to use baking equipment, recipe books and ingredients will massively improve time spent at home.
- Kitchen design must adapt to provide more storage, a more robust design for extended use, but more importantly must be able to provide a space that can easily entertain a small group of family or friends.
The front door is no longer just a way in and out of our homes.
- With the increase in home deliveries, perhaps we should incorporate safe & secure places to leave deliveries.
- The coronavirus in the UK coincided with good weather, imagine accepting deliveries in pouring rain or snow. Those pizzas you have been looking forward to will not be the same from wet boxes!
- The ability to remove outer clothing and sanitise before meeting other family members in the home should be considered.
A space to quarantine could be incorporated into residential design.
- The granny annexe or guest suite could be adapted to enable people to self quarantine without meeting other members of the household.
- This type of space is required by families currently anyway, as children require more independence but do not have the resource to move away from home.
- These spaces are being created for elderly relatives to live closely to their families.
- Adding a small kitchenette alongside an ensuite can adapt the space to enable self quarantining.
- Commercial and Public Spaces.
Spaces such as offices, bars, restaurants, cinemas and shops will all have to adapt with a new awareness of personal safety.
Comfortable social barriers will be required, we will need to be able to space ourselves from one another without it feeling awkward or anti social. This should be designed into spaces, avoiding the need for 2m distance markers, which was an immediate solution to quickly adapt the environment that was created for our needs, pre-coronavirus. The design of these environments must now change.
Our physical and mental health will be more relevant in the design of spaces. We must not be fearful of visiting shops, or sitting in restaurants.