The modern residence, caught unprepared for COVID-19, is merely a shelter. Working from home, remote education practices, increased production in the home kitchen, keenness for traces of nature shaped The New Normal’s residence. Responses for tangible needs integrated with pandemic life were explored. The focus of the project is the separation between clean and dirty areas, and the living room as an extensive living space. The rest of the spaces are configured accordingly; their functional solutions are left to be personalized by the user. Hygienic situations are prioritized.
A sink/wet area is introduced to the entryway, the ‘dirty area’. The initial disinfection of people and objects occur in this space. The entryway is in direct contact with the bathroom, the laundry, and the kitchen. After this space, the user can access the ‘clean area’ directly. So the entryway, the bathroom, and the laundry room are defined as ‘the dirty area’; the kitchen, the living room, the bedroom are defined as ‘the clean area’. The urbanite will dwell more in the larger living room. Furniture are static, yet they fulfill multiple functions to serve the new home life. Easily cleanable materials that won’t allow viruses to remain for long periods were preferred.
BARN arch. proposes three typologies for The New Normal.
• Residence, the new office
- The user, whose work is the largest part of their daily life, expects a workspace of functional size and sufficient for their personal needs from The New Normal.
- The living room is a convertible space that can be used both for working and relaxing.
- The large, multi-functional work surface proposed for the living room is placed in the center of the space as a distinct mass.
• Residence, the new cropland
- The entire residence resembles cropland. Food, kitchen use, and stockpiling situations that have emerged during the pandemic are addressed, in addition to the global climate crisis. It aims to boost respect for nature and relieve the urbanite’s longing for green spaces.
- A hydroponic system surrounds the entire space and is functional down to the furniture scale.
- The industrial kitchen promotes production. The central island/counter promotes sharing of the production.
• Residence, the new nuclear
- The parent, in addition to their upended daily work life, tries to take care of their kids’ educational and recreational needs in the home.
- The separation of clean and dirty areas is further emphasized with varying floor levels; developmentally influential for the children.
- The design of the living room, both a working space for the parents and a playground for the kids, will allow the parents to still enjoy the space and continue with their daily lives and work routines when the children are not physically there.
- The need for private space has been prevalent during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, another enclosed space is proposed: The silent room. Here, a parent can conduct hours of research/reading, attend Zoom meetings, or the kids can join their virtual school classes and activities.
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