Ways in which Architecture will change post COVID-19

Jan 13th, 2021 | by  Kavya Jain


With the world recovering from the health crisis caused due to COVID-19, people everywhere are adapting to the new normal. Forcing humans to adjust to the post-pandemic surroundings, the disease has managed to alter our perceptions and realities. We are constantly questioning our priorities and anticipating a future far from our present.

The architecture community is the forbearer of evolving and accepting the new normal. Adaptability, resiliency, and flexibility in terms of design is the way forward for building architecture. It is time to rethink the way the built environment is treated throughout the world. The archaic notions and practices need to be substituted with modern, safe, and transformative design principles. So, what will build architecture look post-Covid-19?

Well, no need to scratch your heads. We will answer the question for you in just a few points.

1. A shift from Larger Office to Smaller Places


The lockdown forced people to work from home instead of travelling to offices regularly. This cultural shift has forever changed the way offices and houses are designed. Deserted streets, offices, and towers had become a common sight in the past year. With most office employees working remotely, the space usage and design of large offices need to be re-evaluated.

Hundreds of people working from a commonplace and going to the same building is a thing of the past. The future calls for smaller offices with employees working in shifts or alternate cycles. Remote working is beneficial for both the employee and the company as it saves time, money and cost of travelling, food, and other resources on a day-to-day basis.

2. Lesser Reliance on Private Vehicles


During the lockdown, people were stuck within the four walls of their house, streets were empty, and most private cars were parked in garages. Automobile usage saw a sharp decline, enriching the environment with lesser greenhouse gas emissions. Bluer skies and greener grass clearly showed the negative impact that mankind has on the environment.

Thereafter, with the reopening of the world, the lesser reliance on private vehicles and higher dependency on public transportation is starting to become a norm rather than an exception. Despite the adverse impact of the pandemic on the world, the one good outcome is the positive impact on the environment and people's mindset.

3. Transformation of Public Spaces


Urban public spaces will see a transformation in the post-Covid world. Pandemic has pedestrianized people, converting public plazas into a source of relaxation and leisure outside the home. Additionally, with the public getting accustomed to social distancing practices, these spaces will now need to be designed keeping in mind the norms of distancing.

Parks, plazas, and other congregational spaces will act as a refuge in these tough times and also in the future. They offer serenity and mental peace to us humans as we are not used to living a homebound life. Moreover, restaurants and shopping complexes will also need to reconfigure their layouts according to social distancing norms because even after the pandemic, the human psychology will now have an inbuilt fear of proximity to strangers.

4. Modular Construction is In


The pandemic has brought to the forefront the need to build quickly and efficiently. This is where modular construction plays a major role. With the lockdown highlighting the urgency for emergency healthcare facilities such as hospitals, quarantine centres, crematoriums, etc., one cannot let such a situation happen again.

Therefore, building with prefabricated blocks has to become a common practice. In contrast to the traditional construction techniques, modular construction is fast, flexible, economical, and less wasteful. This technology is not only useful for the medical sector but can be applied across industries.

5. Flexible Designs and Layouts


Designing flexible spaces is not a novel concept, but its importance and immediate need have become more prevalent due to the pandemic. Be it emergency facilities, home offices, or public spaces, flexibility in design and layout is important in every sphere. Open plan layout with adaptable and movable partitions, screens, or walls is an innovative way to modify quickly and efficiently for different usages.

Reusing existing spaces, or adaptive reuse has also been brought to light during the past year. Abandoned spaces were converted to emergency shelters, lodgings, and testing sites, showing the possibilities of thinking out of the box.

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More than anything, the pandemic has shown the world something unprecedented, yet not impossible. It is time to adapt and adopt new practices instead of waiting for another virus to strike the world and blemish our future. Use the aforementioned piece of advice as a starting point and start changing with the new normal! 



Kavya Jain

Kavya Jain

Post-Graduate Student at CEPT University

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