How has COVID-19 changed the way you view, or use, your home? We could all probably list off a variety of consequences the pandemic has had on our domestic environments. Aptly, many designers have used this time to think of how we might live in the future. Shared spares in specific are clearly up for the most revision: will people truly be able to lean into co-living possibilities as they were beginning to pre-pandemic? There are obviously considerable anxieties attached to the idea now. But we are, by nature, social creatures, and tend toward community. Furthermore we understand more than ever the value in having green spaces within those communities for the sake of our physical and mental health. The residential concepts below, developed in response to the pandemic and the myriad ways in which it has changed our lives, address our need for sociality and sustainability.
THE FUTURE OF LIVING
University of Technology Sydney (UTS) for Allianz Australia
Addressing the shift towards ‘hedonistic collective living’ in Australia, The Future of Living is a residential concept by the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) for Allianz Australia that makes inhabitants collectively responsible for defining the evolution of their environment. Giving people set tools, fixtures and furnishings to manipulate climactic, acoustic, visual and other elements within their space, the project ‘proposes a new type of relationship between the user, the environment and the raw architecture for the future’. UTS envision two versions of huts that could be modified for and implemented in both rural and urban areas. Defined by an open plan and a lack of façade, they break the boundary between indoor and out and root users in the local culture and climate.
Studio Belem aim to make living and working together seamless through Aula Modula, a concept for a residential complex that rethinks the pre-established functions of homes. Motivated to develop the idea by the urban exodus, rise of the home office and the evolution of communication channels that is taking place, the designers set out to give people the potential for more creative autonomy. Each apartment has a workspace, built facing a courtyard with shared terraces to ‘promote social and professional interactions between residents and workers’. They prioritized the ability to construct the complex efficiently, using low-tech design rules with ‘a regular structure, a post-beam system simple to assemble and the use of bio-sourced local materials’. Aula Modula boasts a variety of environmentally friendly features and green spaces, and offers the possibility for shops and programming.
DOMESTIC TECHNOLOGIES OF QUARANTINE
An ‘open research project departing from reflections on living the domestic dimension and the resulting transformation in the way we experience the urban space’, Domestic Technologies of Quarantine by Studioboom imagines homes as units which can be joined as autonomous clusters. Low-density housing – there would be a maximum of five or six units on staggered floors – the idea is targeted at developing small communities. These spaces are envisioned as ‘free and permeable’, joined by a core made of up plants. Green areas throughout promote shared experiences and activities such as organic farming and gardening. And elements such as a copper-alloy exchange box for deliveries, sanitization area for clothes and shoes and a convertible isolation room help inhabitants facilitate actions more safely during the pandemic.
Stefano Boeri Architetti
Stefano Boeri Architetti has designed what the team claims is the first masterplan to directly address the fallout of the COVID-19 crisis, in collaboration with SON-Group. Named Tirana Riverside, the Albanian capital’s new 12,000-resident neighbourhood will feature 29-hectares of green space, much of it covering the buildings themselves. Most vertical surfaces will host some form of planting, either the form of balconies or hanging gardens, while the roof of residential structures will be reconceived as a what the architects describe as a ‘fifth facade’. This will fulfil a variety of uses, functioning as a reception point for drone deliveries, a space to play sports, pursue leisure activities and engage in agriculture.
Read about our #FrameLive talk on post-pandemic residential design here.