Innovative housing models that reflect the needs of contemporary society M. ISTREFAJ, LL. KUMARAKU
Author: Dr. Malvina Istrefaj (Kolici), Llazar Kumaraku
Affiliation: POLIS University
This article is concerned with understanding the need for housing in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic and suggesting alternatives to provide solutions for housing in a demanding post-pandemic society and a new lifestyle. Since this pandemic hit the world, the issues revealed tackled primarily general societal health, followed by social distancing, change of transportation concepts, and a new remote work model within the housing unit; putting into a tangible discussion, the overall quality of housing. An emergent need to re-address a new concept for housing, sustaining the actual socio- economic model of living, is frequently being discussed between academics alternating between provision for flexible internal spaces, innovative and resilient houses as well as re- adaptations. In this context of global societal changes, ‘The Housing Unit’, has been positioned under pressure to meet the extra needs of the inhabitants, like better indoor physical comfort and air quality, natural light and ventilation, wider spaces, and flexible interiors, needs which were previously addressed in the outdoor environment. Whiles the impact of the pandemic in regard to housing as the primary unit responsible for the overall quality of life imposes researchers and different professionals in design fields to attend to and forecast changes within the housing as the primary “nucleus” driving the general health and quality of life for the citizens; the situation challenged every component of the urban environment, including the uses of public space, public transportation and movement within the city, which already seeks to be redefined. This research is conducted during a two-week workshop, in the framework of the doctoral program in Architecture and Urban Planning, concerning the context Northern Albanian Region of Lezha, with the participation of the students: Rine Zogiani, Nicola Talamonti, Elena Verzella, Luca Lanzoni, Bianka Madhi,, Armela Lamaj. The results of the workshop, after a thorough investigation of existing housing typologies, the relation of public spaces with residential buildings, and other aspects like sustainability, through the objective of providing innovative housing solutions. generated variable models of housing in two main directions: a) adaptations of existing housing units; and b) new proposals for contemporary, post-pandemic housing. The proposals integrate the use of near public space and the incorporation of auto-sufficient buildings concepts.
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