July 14, 2020

How Will Covid Influence Building Design & Architecture?

The commercial and residential buildings of the future could look a little different to what we’re accustomed to these days, with architectural and interior design changes driven by the global pandemic.

The urban landscape is set to be reshaped for years to come, CTGN Europe reports, but Europe is currently facing a housing crisis, as well as the coronavirus outbreak, and it’s possible that modern living conditions could actually accelerate the threat posed by a novel coronavirus.

Lockdown restrictions demanding that people stay at home but in substandard housing could represent a very real health risk. And the increased cost of living in cities around Europe is driving people to live in smaller spaces, with dangers of poor ventilation, low quality heating and overcrowding.

However, architectural innovation is being driven by the virus, as well, and it’s possible pandemic-proofed buildings will become a lasting legacy of this particular crisis.

For example, ventilation is key as clean air is vital in the fight against this virus but it seems that the majority of structures are still using filtration systems that catch less than 20 per cent of airborne virus-sized particles.

As for the buildings themselves, prioritising natural light, access to green spaces and clean air may well be prioritised, with floating roofs being seen increasingly, raised above the walls of a building to allow natural light and air to flow in.

We’ve already seen how disease can influence architecture and design, after it was found in the 19th century that lower rates of tuberculosis infection were present among those rehoused in new hygienic dwellings.

Tuberculosis was linked to the accelerated growth of industrialisation and a malnourished urbanist working class living in overcrowded and unhygienic conditions. This helped bring modernist architecture to the fore, featuring flat roofs, terraces, balconies and lots of white paint, with the medical profession recommending exposure to sunlight.

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