REFLECTIONS ON HOMES IN COVID-19 TIMES. PART 1. ABOUT THE LACKS OF OUR HOMES.
We are ready to answer the questions asked in the first part.
For this we start from the observation methodology, which we will always add a propositional part.
What are the main characteristics / deficiencies of the homes in our environment?
Our extroverted Mediterranean culture, our good weather, the incorporation of women into the world of work, the welfare society … there are many reasons why we have been considering the outdoor as a safe place in which we want to stay.
The house was relegated little less than the place to sleep where occasionally and depends on the weather, organize a dinner with friends. It is surely because of all this that we take less cultural care of our homes. It is documented that we invest less in our homes than our northern European neighbors do. We buy the latest model of mobile, but we do not put the latest model of flooring that allows us to go barefoot, or the latest technology that allows us to save on electricity … Traditionally, we do not take care of our home as we take care of our body or our wardrobe. Regulations changes and institutional aid mark trends in this regard and, definitely, we still have a long way to go throughout the existing housing stock.
Now that we have changed from being US to being ME; that our place to sleep has become an office, school, warehouse, gym, recording studio, bar, restaurant …; and that the general consumption within them has increased to levels unknown by architecture until now, we have discovered that our homes were not prepared. Our architecture did not have this planned.
It was not expected that there would be a need to isolate yourself from the people you live with because of an invisible microbe. Nor do you have to live with babies, children of all ages, teenager, grandparents, people with mobility problems or even with your partner 24 hours out of 24, like a groundhog day that lasts longer than humanly tolerable, putting test our limits day after day.
Indeed, this situation has taken the shame out of our homes and has rubbed them out in front of us.
-A terrace. I have enjoyed my terrace these days like never before.
Multipurpose zone. What a good time playing together the party or working each with own computer or tablet between cross conversations.
-Zones to be isolated. Moments in which I cannot stand even myself and I lose myself to regain my sanity and return to offer my best face to those around me.
-The kitchen, supported by a good pantry. Place to detoxify from the continuous infoxication that has been drowning us.
-Internet connection. I cannot imagine these days a few years ago …
Undoubtedly the top is led by the terrace, that small or large space straddling the outside and the inside, which wisely shows us the world, keeping a safe distance. That one day, when people became sick with tuberculosis, it was considered to be good for health, and that over time, due to what happens to us humans who tend to forget history, it was relegated to a warehouse where a place for the gas cylinder, the wet clothes and the air conditioner. Improvised storage room, which moved to the underworld, for which the architects have not known how to fight. As homes is an economic asset and not one of well-being, building a terrace is no longer profitable and both private and public housing have renounced it.
But we are still in time to change course, there are many that ask for it. And it does not seem complicated. If the regulations require us to have bathrooms in our homes, as well as windows, it will not hurt to add a few meters of sun and air to our homes. Without being able to close … where to learn again if the east or west blows, and if I fold or unfold windows and curtains to make our residential journeys the best possible experience.