Recent times are forcing us to spend more time in our homes. Concepts like home office and homeschooling have become our new normality. And with that, we rediscovered the spaces of our own houses.
Because of our strenuous routine, it is normal to spend about 12 hours or more between work, traffic, construction, projects, school, university... and as a consequence, the house had become a place to sleep. We leave in the morning and return at night. The quarantine and social distancing period was not only a psychological or physical shock, but it was also spatial. And why does architecture matter at this moment?
Everyone, without exception, started to see their residences with different eyes. Confined in ourselves, we perceive the insufficient sunlight in the environments, the crossed flows, the small reforms that have never been made, the rearrangings that are eternally postponed, the noises never heard before. Personally, I have always had the concept of home linked to the place where I receive and share with those who are dear to me. But what can be changed from now on?
Historically, these health-related moments of crisis have always influenced architecture. In the 19th century, after cholera and smallpox epidemics, the first sanitary laws in England emerged, which influenced the great reforms of Paris and Barcelona, by the hands of Baron Haussmann and Idelfons Cerdá, respectively.
As students and architects, we are prompted, kinda like a mystical gift, to think and solve the house and the city for others. The reality that is established with the pandemic will force us to review concepts and think about residential design solutions that are more focused on practicality, coziness, and retreat.
Nowadays our routine has been replaced by something we still don't acknowledge. Perhaps it is because it represents a world that is continuously advancing and cycles that are constantly moving forward. Or perhaps it is just the opposite; a symbolic dimension that will open a window in our reality to greener gardens, a brighter sky, and will facilitate the connection, through this journey, with the best in ourselves.
Yes, the future is unpredictable, yet mysterious and perplexing. In this obscurity, however, we architects have the responsibility to think better about the spaces of the houses, and to cast light on that future, so that people can live better.