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Coronavirus Pandemic: How the Crisis Will Influence Architects – Bloomberg

Past pandemics also forced a rethinking of physical space.

Illustration: Rose Wong for Bloomberg Businessweek
Illustration: Rose Wong for Bloomberg Businessweek

 

By Kristen V Brown

Six feet. As Covid-19 has torn through the world, that distance has come to define daily life. Six feet is how far we stand from other shoppers or the space we try to maintain while catching up with a friend.

It’s painfully clear that our world has been constructed for a reality that no longer exists. Crowded subway cars, packed restaurants, and bustling sidewalks all pose a threat every time someone nearby sneezes, talks, or even just breathes.

Eventually, architects and engineers will reconstruct the world around us to take into account the pandemic—and others that may follow. Temporary plexiglass barriers and markings on the floor may give way to designs that favor privacy and small groupings of people to limit the spread of pathogens. “You’re going to see a style where things look safe to reassure people,” says Aaron Betsky, director of Virginia Tech School of Architecture + Design. “We’re going to make things that reassure people that there’s not something hiding somewhere that’s going to come out and bite them or make them sick.”

Betsky suspects we may see a resurgence of the aerodynamic and streamlined design of the 1920s and ’30s, a time which brought us, among other things, hospital rooms with rounded corners, making them easier to clean. The reimagining of cities and architecture in the wake of pandemics has been going on for centuries. In the 1800s, after cholera killed tens of thousands of Parisians, Georges-Eugène Haussmann razed overcrowded medieval neighborhoods to make way for the wide avenues and parks we know today.

Read on >>> Source: Bloomberg Coronavirus Pandemic: How the Crisis Will Influence Architects – Bloomberg

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