COVID-19 has been the catalyst for many changes in architecture and design. Many designers have suddenly found themselves in a position where they are now working remotely. Meanwhile, office buildings around the country have been vacant for months. In light of the pandemic, architects have had to think creatively about how they can use buildings and how they can create spaces that accommodate growing concerns about public health and safety. Here’s how architecture and design are evolving post-COVID.
Repurposing is on the Rise
Many companies have closed entire buildings because the pandemic forced them to switch their operations to remote environments. This is especially true of office buildings. After the pandemic settles down, many of these vacant building will return to their original purpose as businesses open back up. Yet, some buildings will remain closed. This will create many opportunities for designers to repurpose buildings. For example, office complexes could be converted into schools. Office buildings tend to have a lot of segmentation which makes them easy to convert into educational facilities. Designers often just need to implement small changes likes adding a few windows or tearing down the walls between offices to create roomy classrooms. This type of repurposing saves money on construction costs and is better for the environment.
In the post-COVID environment, “mid-door” spaces are likely to become more popular. Mid-door spaces are spaces that obscure the line between indoors and outdoors. A mid-door area, for example, could have the feel of the outdoors, yet feature the amenities that make the indoors advantageous, such as air conditioning or protection from bad weather. In the past, designers considered spaces to either be indoors or outdoors. Today, they’re starting to see inside and outside as a spectrum. In the aftermath of the pandemic, companies are thinking more about the health of their employees and customers. It is likely that businesses will increasingly see the benefits of mid-door spaces. Spaces that incorporate a lot of outdoor elements are more relaxing and can reduce stress. Thinking more creatively about how to use space can also allow businesses to make building that better accommodate social distancing guidelines.
COVID has changed architecture and design. While some of these changes will reverse when the pandemic ends, other changes are going to be more permanent. Two things that will likely continue to impact the industry post-COVID are the prominence of repurposing and mid-door spaces. Many vacant buildings will end up being converted into different building types. Meanwhile, the line between the indoors and the outdoors will continue to narrow.
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