Houses and lots in the new normal
The ongoing pandemic has changed the way we live our lives in so many ways. It forced us to isolate ourselves and our families in our houses as a safety measure against the deadly virus. Our residences have evolved to take on the multiple functions of different establishments such as offices, schools, bakeries, gyms, restaurants, and even warehouses (for e-commerce).
Healthy living condition
Many are now placing a huge importance on having access to breathable and expandable spaces. Being confined in a cramped space for a long period leaves one feeling trapped and impacts the physical, psychological, and emotional state of a person negatively. Flexibility, privacy and sustainability have become more crucial than ever for a healthy and productive living condition. A detached house and lot, for example, offers an ideal scenario that can address the need for a suitable living arrangement in this new normal.
Appreciation for nature
The new normal has also affected our fields of interest, which include our growing appreciation for nature. Man saw the necessity of connecting with nature, seeing how it revitalizes and energizes our body and spirit. As such, caring for indoor and outdoor plants also became a growing trend this quarantine—hence the newly coined terms, plantitas and plantitos. Biophilia or the love of nature, is a favorite concept that I always apply in my design projects as I’m deeply aware of the role of architecture in connecting man with nature.
A bigger storage area for house and kitchen supplies is a must in the new normal. An adequately spaced and efficient kitchen have become a necessity as home-cooked meals prove to be the safest option for now. Trips to markets and groceries should be less frequent, which meant more storage spaces are now indispensable. Having a lot, meanwhile, offers the opportunity to grow vegetables and fruits in the premises of our home. With this, sustainability is addressed—one of the key disciplines I always incorporate in my designs.
Work and study spaces
Another way that the new normal has affected our everyday lives is breaking the barrier between work and home space. As our home takes on the functions of workplaces and schools, it must be able to accommodate individual working spaces, furniture, and equipment for simultaneous zoom meetings and online classes. Thus, a detached house with bigger space allows more flexibility. The house must have multiple spaces that offer privacy for a conducive work and study environment. Natural lighting and ventilation play a vital role in creating this favorable atmosphere.
This period has also allowed the rising trend in hobbies such as painting, baking, biking, and carpentry to name a few, in order to cope with what is happening in our world today. As safety reasons restrict us from going to the malls, restaurants, resorts, bars, and other destinations, the house must have adequate spaces where we can pursue other recreational activities. Workshop areas and storage spaces for crafts and hobbies this quarantine may become a necessary extension to the house in the context of the new normal.
In essence, the pandemic has indeed become a catalyst for our homes to evolve and for us to rethink our ways. It has not only taught us to adapt and survive, but also to create a sustainable lifestyle in order to find a balance among the many and varied activities we now hold in our home. Despite these circumstances, it is through our homes that we are able to seclude ourselves from the prevalent dangers happening around us, providing us the sanctuary to connect and live safely with our loved ones.
The author is an architect, homemaker and homeschooler. She designs residential, office, resort, restaurant, and commercial spaces. In her free time, she loves to paint, bake, tend the garden, and take care of her three german shepherds. Email [email protected]
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