Covid-19 and its effects on architecture in the year ahead
Looking back on 2020, one word comes to mind – change. We all changed. Whether we wanted to or not. As a direct result of Covid-19, the way we live, work, shop and sosialise as well as the way we think about these and other everyday things have all experienced a dramatic shift.
It is therefore not surprising that residential architecture trends will follow suit.
Our Top Architecture Trends for 2021:
TREND 1: The rehabilitation & remodelling of outdated sites
The effect of the pandemic on economies worldwide has been catastrophic. We will therefore need to see more resourcefulness within the building industry. The rehabilitation of outdated sites is not a new concept but in the year and years ahead it could perhaps become a necessity.
A greater focus on online shopping and home deliveries have resulted in a reduced need for larger physical shops. And remote working questions whether corporate companies really need all of that space…
In his book, The New Urban Crisis, Urban Studies Theorist Richard Florida suggests that architects should look at projects that include the creative and mixed use of empty office blocks and malls to address urban housing challenges.
TREND 2: The smart, multi-functional home
For many months in 2020 the home had to accommodate everything. We worked, exercised, educated and taught in these spaces. And after a hard week “at the office” and “at school” the home was also the place that had to meet our leisure requirements. Sadly, many homes failed terribly and the occupants’ mental and physical health suffered the consequences.
Kicking off the year in Level 3 Lockdown, the South African home as a multi-functional space with diaphanous and polyvalent environments is most definitely in the architectural spotlight.
This includes cleverly planned and designed open plan areas that allow us to do more indoors, and outdoor spaces that not only connects us with nature but also encourages exercise, sport and leisure. A spa-like bathroom is particularly a hot trend going forward.
As we spend more time at home, smarter homes become more important too. We’ll see more home automation that assists us in living our lives connected with the office, our friends and our appliances.
TREND 3: New minimalism
In the new approach to minimalism the focus is less on “cold and clean” and more on “simple yet interesting”. Simple lines, fewer decor, more natural fabrics and the use of high qualitymaterials and finishes…
We will be seeing simple forms used in more modern and innovative ways. The key is to allow architecture and design to be organic and highly practical and not only beautiful.
TREND 4: Healthy homes
Covid-19 and the staying at home culture require of us to ask whether our homes contribute positively or negatively to our health. Ventilation and airflow only begin to touch the surface of the role a home can play in the health of its occupants.
There is no question that the health of a home’s occupants goes hand-in-hand with the home’s exposure to nature as it has been proven time and time again that nature heals. That’s why the quest to merge humans and nature has been on the top of many architectural agendas for the past decade if not longer.
In 2021 the drive to build passive, eco-friendly and sustainable homes that pay homage to nature and the immediate environments is the trend that most excites us. This conscientious attitude towards architecture aims to save energy, make use of recycled and natural materials and introduce more eco-friendly and green technologies in all aspects of the building process.
Because if it is good for nature it is good for us. Full stop.
The above trends in our opinion are all a step in the right direction for architecture and the planet. Here’s to an exceptional 2021!