The time to redesign spaces | by Andrea Serri

The Covid-19 pandemic is transforming our world in profound ways, some of which are of great relevance to the international construction industry. And although these transformations are taking place against a backdrop of huge global suffering, in many cases they represent significant long-term improvements.

One such transformation is the newly emerging vision of built spaces and urban planning. For example, the tiny beehive-style apartments without balconies or outdoor communal spaces that were long popular as a way of making the most of available financial and physical resources now seem much less appealing.

From the residential sector, this redesign trend has gradually spread to all other building segments. It is evident for example in the way shop entrances and exits are designed, in the layout of tables in restaurants and external spaces, and in the varied world of workplaces where the entire concept of office working has been transformed by the need to work from home.

The redesign trend is also gaining traction in the healthcare sector. At a Cersaie Press Café event hosted by the magazine Interni, architect Filippo Taidelli discussed the ways in which hospitals must change in order to improve patients’ quality of life, focusing in particular on their ability to accommodate family members while optimising medical and healthcare functions to cope with the presence of highly infectious patients.

A second important consideration concerns the factors that create value in the built environment. A good project is one that takes account of the current and future needs of users, the ability to evolve and adapt over time, and the aesthetics and beauty of the spaces. All of these factors have been brought into sharp relief by the pandemic, along with one characteristic that in recent months has become more important than ever – the hygiene and healthiness of spaces. It is essential to be able to sanitise surfaces repeatedly, effectively and cheaply without altering or harming the surfaces. Ceramic is a material that meets all these technical, aesthetic and hygienic requirements in keeping with the general trend towards greater indoor living quality.

The catalyst of this change is design, driven above all by the new generation of talented and passionate designers such as Rome-based practice Labics (read the interview), one of today’s most innovative and advanced architecture and urban design practices operating in Italy and internationally.


November 2020