Home is where every story begins. It provides us a sense of security and belonging. Hence, naturally, it is evident that a home continually evolves based on the changing needs of the dweller. In the current situation of the pandemic, the definition of a home and its design is bound to alter. Here are the ten things lockdown has taught architects about designing homes:

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“Home is a refuge, not only from the world but a refuge from my worries, my terrible concerns.” – Maya Angelou

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Image Sources: Bellad House ©KhoslaAssociates

1. We need buildings that function as a complete ecosystem by themselves. With social distancing and work-from-home idea becoming a new norm in the post-pandemic world, it is necessary to design homes that cater to the user’s various requirements by integrating work-space, living space, and recreational spaces within the house.

 

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2. “If you cannot go outside, go inside.” This has never been more appropriate than in current times. With the majority of the population cooped up inside, architects could give the right amount of thought towards providing a healthy dose of natural light, fresh air, and nature in space making. Balconies, terraces, and interior gardens could be redesigned to suit current needs.

3. As we brace for more lockdowns, though dispersed, self-sufficient and off-grid homes could reduce the risk of dependency on external agencies for water supply, electricity, and cooking gas. By implementing techniques to tap renewable energy, we could push for a sustainable way of living.

4. Integrating urban farms with houses could have a positive impact on our efforts towards rendering a house self-sufficient. This could also lead to a more intimate connection between the house and the user, especially when we are struggling to find solace inside.

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10 Things lockdown taught architects about designing homes -2
Image Sources: East Side Loft ©1100 Architects

5. Contrary to open plans with connected living, dining, and kitchen spaces, substantial segregation might be favoured. An innovative approach towards creating a separate entrance space to the house could reduce the risk of contamination.

6. A few months ago, the role of HVAC and filtration of air and water was almost negligible in the design of homes. However, the post-pandemic era could define new rules for sanitizing living spaces and for providing a safer environment.

7. Minimalist furniture could reduce the possibility of dust accumulating over time. Going forward, smooth, easy-to-maintain surfaces that could be cleaned easily can be designed.

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8. Technology and home automation have made tremendous jumps in the past few years. This unlocks a new vista for architects to implement touchless technology such as voice-activated elevators, hands-free switches, and sensor technology.

9. Le Corbusier, in his City of Tomorrow, said, “Hygiene and moral health depend on the layout of cities. Without hygiene and moral health, the social cell becomes atrophied.” The recent development of innovative building materials with anti-microbial properties could be used to our advantage. Normalizing the use of such materials at affordable cost could provide a safer haven for users.

10. One of the major problems the country faced was the exodus of a large number of migrant populations and widespread infections in the more inferior parts of the country. To handle situations such as these, we could spearhead innovations in low-cost collapsible housing while maintaining required social distancing.

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Author

Poojitha Yathiraj is a young architect who loves to unearth stories hidden in the built fabric and weave them through literature. With an inclination to collocate art and science, she believes that architecture is more than mere walls and hopes to create meaningful spaces, both through words and bricks.

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