The Pandemic Trauma
What the world has been through in the past few months showed how unpredictable the future is. Abundant offices, schools, shopping centers and even parts of cities seem to be lifeless.
Ignoring what the pandemic did to the world socially, economically and environmentally is not an option. Architecture should be ready to both post-pandemic city needs and/or any other needs may face future generations, the randomness of the future needs necessitates elastic buildings flexible enough to cope this uncertainty.
In the meanwhile, taking into consideration how fast the world had adapted to remotely interact with surprising results in productivity. Percentage of remote workers is expected to rise even after the pandemic where as reported by Forbes “By 2025, an estimated at least five days a month.”, these changes are not only improving the work productivity but also lead to savings. Rent, capital costs, facilities operations, maintenance, and management. Benefits also reach society and environment with less fuel consumption, traffic, gas emissions and wasted time. In addition, business insider predicted that even some retailer giants are thinking to depend more on the online shopping and close most of their stores for the sake of decreasing expenses and maximizing profits.
Architecture should be ready to adapt with the current needs of time and space but be flexible enough to fulfil future generations needs. In Other words, with maximum flexibility, Architectural design should be timeless, endless, formless in a way, Architectural design should be LIMITLESS.
A livable and dynamic building that respond to any change anytime anywhere regardless building function, formation, location or any other aspect.
Based on a simple cubical form that is considered like a ‘safe’ to save human-being life, an entire city in a scale of a building, an application of several inputs that would lead to a demand on site output for each individual place.
According to what we have been through in the past few months, it showed how uncertain the future is. For example, how experts in different fields predict that the percentage of workers permanently from home is expected to be doubled in 2021, or how some retailer giants are thinking to depend more on the online shopping and close most of its stores, as well as the incensement of online learning and its positive experience. So why would w design buildings that would probably be abandoned in the next pandemic or mega crises instead of designing a flexible building that contains all our urban needs in one building that could adapt and overcome different challenges?
How to create a building type is the ideal, sustainable response, how it engenders a vibrancy, and how it contributes fully to the art of place making – very few new buildings offering a true variety and mix of uses have actually been produced. The architectural language has been derived from strong references. As such the building acts as a protective safe for the life of inhabitants within. The building incorporate a rich and diverse mix of uses and stand tall on the architectural world stage.
The design should cope within any period of time and through the ages.
The flexible modular cube shape allows the maximum flexibility for endless design interior solution. How does the design culturally respond to its context and demonstrate benefits to local stakeholders.
A shift away from large city offices
Worldwide, people are working from home due to COVID-19 lockdown measures. In central business districts, large office buildings and skyscrapers have been deserted. Now that work is being done remotely, some are re-evaluating the need for such spacious and expensive spaces.
New forms of public space
The way public spaces are designed could change in a post-pandemic world, along with how they’re prioritized in urban areas. As the pandemic has converted people into full time pedestrians, public spaces have been some of the few sources of leisure outside of the home. Sam Lubell of the argues that “we will eventually devote more resources to help us congregate and to strengthen our frayed community bonds, be it through parks, plazas, promenades, community centers or streets turned over to pedestrians.”
It is also important to think about how these spaces can be kept safe in moments like the COVID-19 pandemic. Architecture firm unveiled their idea for a park that is oriented to maintain social distancing, while allowing people to be outdoors. In future emergencies, parks like this would continue to offer spaces of refuge and serenity in urban areas.
Flexible building design
While not a new concept, the importance of adaptability has become increasingly evident during this pandemic. From creating make-shift emergency facilities to reorganizing one’s home that’s better suited for working remotely, flexible design has proven to be essential. An Australian architectural firm, Woods Bagot, is already looking towards the future with their . It includes a series of adjustable walls and screens that would be used to segment an open-plan apartment into various dedicated spaces. The same approach could be made in office buildings.
The empty spaces from the abundant offices/schools/retails would create unequally distributed areas, where suburbs could be over-populated while the inner city is vacant. Solution would be for the time being, inviting more people to occupy these empty spaces to create equally populated cities while providing public and semi-public amenities to serve people on the scale of building, neighborhood, and community.
The key is to create a sample that can be relocated in different areas replacing the traditional single-use buildings, thus making sure the complex would bring life into the neighborhood through its vibrant and diverse uses all year long.
- Cubic solid/void movable/replaceable modules intensifying building’s ability to cope with city’s time and space needs.
- Maximizing the pedestrian accessibility through building
- Introducing Co-working/learning spaces.
- Creating different typologies of residential spaces to avoid the dense population areas.
- Creating variety of public spaces serving both neighborhood and city scales.
- Hospitality areas to serve the tourists/visitors expected especially with the nearby culture mile.
- Clinical areas for the public health.