How will COVID-19 affect in the design of buildings?

 

Architecture, such as any other aspect in our daily lives, evolves depending on socio economic factors of society. The arrival of COVID-19 will without question also alter the architectural proposals of buildings.

Changes generate the need for adaption.

Since COVID-19 struck our society we have seen hotels and sports pavilions transformed into hospitals, empty offices, long lines in supermarkets, rooftops full of life and homes full of people.

The buildings of the future will also have to adapt.

The first spaces that will be represented in the new design will be the ones that offer more possibilities and until this moment were still not being completely used and taken advantage of: Rooftops.

How many of us have seen neighbors going up to the rooftop to do some exercise or workout? The change has begun.

Rooftops will be thought of as an area of relation between neighbors, spaces to work out or even to create urban gardens. It is usually a clear area where you can run, sunbathe or even have a small barbeque.

But let’s take it to the next level, ¿might rooftops be used as drop off spots by your delivery company who will ship the packages by drone?

The buildings will look for more natural light and better sunning. The lock down has made us be more conscious that a balcony, a terrace or a patio in our homes gives us life. For that reason, investors will try to maximize the private outdoor space built in a home.

Building entryways will also be affected. The digital transformation and peak of online business will make conventional mailboxes disappear and in their place there will be lockers so deliverymen can place packages in them.

Elevators will become more technological, who knows if with facial recognition or with contactless buttons so you can go up to the floor you are going to and don’t have to touch anything at all.

In last place, garages which seemed that were slowly going to be left out of use in favor of public transportation or car sharing, ¿Will they gain importance once more?

In China, going back to normal life after confinement has provoked a boom in car sales, probably because people are afraid of sharing space in a train wagon.

What is sure is that, the process of adaptation has begun and now it is our turn as architects to take the reins of this change, humanize buildings and be able to take advantage of our design by thinking in our client’s well-being.

 

The change has begun,
Now we need to adapt!

If you have found this article interesting, you can continue reading the following post:

The transformation of our homes due to COVID-19 : Before and After

 

The importance of zenithal lighting in architecture

 

Nowadays there is a need to illuminate the spaces we inhabit, that is, to illuminate the activities that we carry out inside buildings. Designing the lighting protocol with either natural or artificial light is a part of the architectural process.

In many cases, the type of lighting to be used is suggested thanks to the characteristics of the environment. The lighting options won’t be the same in an isolated house, where you can more easily install windows wherever you want to, than for example, in a house between party walls.

Thus, the environment can suggest but does not have to condition or make us give up the inclusion of natural light in all spaces. Therefore, the resource used in many cases is overhead lighting.

In our last post, we talked about the English house typology. It is precisely in this type of housing where you can truly understand the concept of zenithal lighting and its importance.

 

 

Zenithal light in architecture

 

We understand zenithal light as light that enters the building from an overhead position. It is also the lighting that we relate with a skylight.

 

Zenithal light is therefore natural light that we receive from above.

As we can see in the images, the types of windows that allow the entry of zenithal light and ventilation are known as Velux.

  

This type of lighting allows us to illuminate spaces where it is impossible to have a window receiving light from the outside and it also allows us to illuminate spaces where the lighting requirements are based on quality and quantity.

In many occasions even though the possibility of lighting through a conventional window exists we choose to use a ceiling window because it creates an atmosphere of comfort and warmth.

This type of ceiling light entry can also occur in intermediate decks such as patios and terraces in cases where under these structures there is a space with lighting difficulties. In these cases, skylights are used and they can be retractable or not, depending on whether it is necessary to combine lighting and ventilation.

Zenithal lighting allows direct contact with the outside, always discreetly and giving privacy, without showing the interior of the house to the street, in the way that a conventional window does.

Another type of zenithal lighting other than the one we explained previously is where light can be taken to the ground floor of the house through a well of light, using an interior patio.

These inner courtyards act as natural light conductors to all the rooms located in the darkest and most difficult areas to illuminate according to this type of housing.

In this way, not only the floor below the roof is illuminated, but the light captured on the roof of the house is distributed and reaches the ground floor.

Overhead lighting is a resource to be used according to the characteristics of the project and according to the design of the interior spaces.

Each interior space must be adapted to the way of living in it; therefore, the type of lighting will allow the used to develop their daily activities.