Portfolio Project Detail

NOVA Hala Akkawi, Jamil Alkhayyat, Razan Bitar, and Suheila Ghawi

The outbreak of COVID has created a global health crisis that has affected our present lives and the future that is yet to come. With everyone fleeing the City of London to the suburbs, it has become evident that our future cities need to evolve to adapt to shocks and to cater for the wellbeing and the safety of the people.

NOVA will be the hotspot of the city; providing its inhabitants with a space where they can safely engage, support one another and work together to build a system that can continuously enhance the health and the wellbeing of the users. Welcoming people of all ages and backgrounds, NOVA will provide the community with a feeling of reassurance and relaxation following the anxiety and distress that they have experienced during COVID.

While maintaining the new protocol of social distancing and continuous sanitization, the design of the building uses the following procedures to enhance the safety of users:

  • Floor patterns and signage to indicate the safe radius required for each person
  • Advanced technology to enhance the cleanliness of the space and alert users of when a space is fully occupied
  • Air purification systems and operable skylights and windows that increases fresh air
  • Sanitization stations scattered throughout to encourage the best hygiene in the space

NOVA is human-centric. In response to the pandemic and the challenges that people experienced, the center provides its residents with a hub that supports their work, education, mental health, fitness, employment and a healthy sustainable environment.

Workspaces with collaborative zones or plug-in desks are available to support entrepreneurs and local businesses to work remotely. Classrooms include high technology to support students that have experienced low education during the pandemic. Gyms and meditation rooms to focus on users’ fitness and mental health. Outdoor garden to grow fruits and vegetables and support local produce. Reading clubs for elders allowing them to interact with the society and most importantly a center that creates a lot of opportunities for employment.

NOVA is resilient. Considering our future is unpredictable, the interior of the space will easily adapt to the sudden changes we face in our world. It uses flexible furniture and demountable partitions to allow for rearranging spaces easily with no waste of material and no pollution of demolition. With circular economy in mind, the interior materials used are of low embodied energy, including recycled timber and a specialist brick. The interior walls of the building are made of WasteBasedBricks, a specialty brick material made from construction and demolition waste found at building sites

NOVA is sustainable. The building achieves a number of features that comply with the requirements of WELL and LEED ID+C. Ensuring that the occupants can enjoy a healthy and sustainable environment.