How can housing be healthy, adaptable, resilient and optimised for the multiple functions?
Dwellings provide not just a living space, but act as a pandemic shelter, a workplace, an impromptu school, a gym, a playground and more. Katja Maununaho, Sini Saarimaa, Jyrki Tarpio and Sofie Pelsmakers (Tampere University) critique current apartment design and contemplate how apartments can be designed to be adaptable and respond better to many existing and new needs.
Exceptional times provide an opportunity to reflect on the different realities of living. Restrictions on movement set as protective measures provide a tangible demonstration of how the built environment can feel for those whose movement has been permanently restricted. This highlights both the challenges and the opportunities associated with transforming homes into multiple use spaces: used by multiple people for multiple purposes, potentially with issues of safety, privacy, noise with health and well-being implications.
What characteristics of a dwelling's plan make the quarantine conditions feel tolerable? Enough room so all family members don't have to be face to face all the time? A little empty space between the furniture? A chance to walk back and forth? A sink situated around a corner, so you don't have to look at the mess from the evening before? A window with a view of urban trees or a garden?
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