The COVID-19 has made us reconsider not only how we relate to the environment, but also the structure of our homes and everything we have in them. The norms of social distancing still in force in public spaces, as well as the extreme requirements of hygiene in everything around us, have made architects, urban planners, builders, and designers work quickly on new ideas regarding space distribution, new materials and the integration of technology to the places where we live at.
The confinement and the transfer of offices to homes has introduced a new reality: post-Covid19 households must meet the demands of this new and unforeseen era. Experts say that teleworking and confinement are two facts that we’ll face until 2021, and that implies the urgent and necessary redesign of the use and distribution of the spaces we live in and a new vision for future ones.
Therefore, the home as the center of today’s life must be adapted to entertain, work and, of course, rest. With that in mind, along with the trends and concepts that are beginning to emerge in this post-pandemic time, we have made a list of the changes that we’ll see in homes.
The commandments the Covid left us
1- Flexibility above all. As we said, homes will have to accommodate more services and functions from now on. This means that we’ll see a new redistribution in the usual spaces of the house or even that we’ll experience the emergence of attachments that make those spaces adaptable enough to change their object or purpose.
The Australian architecture firm Woods Bagot focused on the latter with the creation of the AD-APT system. The same uses adjustable walls and screens to transform an open-plan apartment into several dedicated spaces. AD-APT opens up a universe of possibilities to both those who have little space, and those with more, because it allows to divide areas at your convenience.
2- Honor the teleworking area. The days of working from bed or in a corner of the kitchen table are over. Thus, the creation of an “office” space with all the necessary amenities for a productive workspace, has become one of the great demands of post-Covid19 homes.
In this sense, some studios have already conceptualized ways to integrate household offices into outdoor spaces. An example of this is the concept proposed by the British architect David Ajasa-Adekunle called Tetra Shed. It‘s a module manufactured with a matte black rubber coating on the outside and birch wood on the inside to be placed in the garden or terrace. The adaptable module aims to create an “external” workplace, which makes you feel like you’re leaving home to go to work.
3- Sanitize the entrances. With the return of antibacterial devices and the arrival of disinfection machines at public establishment entrances, the need for similar safety measures at home becomes clear. For that purpose, some interior designers propose clearly defined transition spaces, where shoes and clothes can be left ready to be washed, and also where it’s possible to install devices to disinfect your hands before entering.
Also, there must be a small trash can to throw away anything that has been used outside the home and a basket or container to place the keys. According to the experts on the subject, it’s advisable to leave the keys in this area and spray them with disinfectant before reusing them.
4- Don’t dismiss the use of AI. It’s well known that one of the main problems with the coronavirus is the time it can survive on surfaces (72 hours in plastic, 48 in metal and 4 in fabrics). This brings to the table the importance of using home automation.
Touching as few things as possible (meaning switches, faucets, access doors, etc.) when we have just arrived from the street to avoid contaminating the house is a rule that’s gradually being implemented in homes. In that sense, technology activated through our mobile devices or voice is becoming more popular. In fact, its use will soon stop being a novelty to become something normal.
However, there’s an area in the home that is already at the forefront: the kitchen. Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Bosch Home Connect, and Apple Homekit have made possible the operation of lights, faucets and even appliances without touching them. In this regard, experts indicate that in the following months designers and architects will rely more on artificial intelligence to have virus-free homes.
5- Feed the pantry as you feed yourself. Another key factor in new homes will be the pantries. Covid19 has made us look back to the ancient conceptions of post-war grandmothers in terms of food storage.
While the idea isn’t turning households into prepper-like bunkers, this pandemic has demonstrated the need to plan ahead. The inability to shop has led many homeowners to rethink their kitchens. Space for additional freezers and areas designated exclusively for food storage are among the requests that architects will have to face from now on.
From this point of view, the homes of the future will be almost like a bubble that should provide us with safety, comfort, and even entertainment. Which of these measures have you already implemented?