Architecture after the pandemic

11/01/2021

Architecture after the pandemic

A few months ago we commented in our blog on the power that architecture has to combat pandemics, and this week we want to continue exploring this binomial, putting on the table what trends will be seen in this field as a result of the COVID19, especially in cities.

The first seems clear, and is the idea that green spaces will gain space in large cities. Some even speak of biophilic cities, which are those that have a design that allows the inhabitants to develop activities and a lifestyle that allows them to learn from nature and commit to its care.

Perhaps this concept still seems distant and utopian, but what is beyond doubt is that we will see more garden areas as a result of increasingly healthy architecture. But what exactly does healthy architecture propose? As the architect Fernando Espinosa de los Monteros explains, it is that it should be "safer, more hygienic and easier" This is a new concept in the field of health and wellness, created to create a feeling of well-being and health on a physical, mental and psychological level. To achieve this, "adequate treatment of the air, water, lighting, distribution of space, thermal and acoustic comfort and materials" is basic, explains the architect, Rita Gasalla.

Promoting spaces for human connections will also be a new response to the pandemic, and in fact we are already seeing them flourish in metropolises around the world. They are new places to exercise, play, meet other people and socialize. Ideas, in short, that also add up for people's health. And in this case, they also enhance the sense of community and belonging, creating positive psychological effects by establishing relationships between members of the same area.

Mobility will also be different and sustainable means of transport, such as the bicycle, will have more presence on the streets. According to some experts, such as Carlos F. Lahoz, professor of urban planning, this means of transport will be consolidated as well as low emission areas. Consequently, cities will adapt to this new reality. In fact, Milan has announced that it will integrate 35 new kilometres of cycle lanes into its streets, while the Macron executive in France has earmarked 20 million euros to promote this medium in Paris, Lyon, Lille and Montpellier. Architect Carlos Rubio Carvajal is of the same opinion, and points out that after the coronavirus "a new mobility will arrive that will bring us a renewed public space, which is kinder, more sustainable, continuous and integrating". He also points out that social distancing will require more public space, an idea similar to that of the other architect, Juan Pablo Rodríguez Frade, who defends that it will be "necessary to resize the pavements and parks. Public areas will be wider and more spacious".

We will also see how the technology that allows contact to be avoided will grow, so that automation and domotics will be more present in the buildings. They point this out from Moove mag, explaining that elements such as automatic doors, facial recognition, voice-activated lifts or hands-free switches will be increasingly common instruments.

In short, architecture does not cease to be an answer to people's needs and, now, they are focused on health and well-being, so the new architectural and urban planning solutions will have a clear objective: to favour healthier and more sustainable environments.

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