How has the pandemic affected the future of housing design?

RIBA interviews four practitioners, including Guild Living’s co-founder and director Eugene Marchese, on how coronavirus has affected the future of later living design.

In the article, Eugene addresses the issues with current later living models such as care homes and the consequences of this. He highlights the lack of options and choice we face as we age and how the UK needs a bridge between traditional care and independent living. He also reflects on the design of Guild Living schemes explaining that “each scheme has around 250-300 homes: a mix of independent living apartments, care apartments – which are independent but can provide care – and full care suites. Homes are broken down into a series of communities of eight to 12 people. By breaking the scale of the development down, we create family groups so residents are less likely to be lonely and it is easier to support them and potentially manage any virus outbreak.”.

Guild Living communities have been also been designed with open amenity spaces including a wellness centre, restaurant and children’s nursery. However, in the instance of an outbreak, the small community groups can lockdown within the building and would still have safe access to living and outdoor areas. Guild Living communities will therefore enable people to live in isolation within the building but without feeling lonely or isolated.

Eugene adds, “older people will want more choice in how and where they live in the future. Moving into a retirement community is a big step for people and our online focus groups are showing us that people’s key concern now is to find a place to live where they or their loved one can be safe. “.

Also featured in the article covering the impact of coronavirus on the future of housing design:

  • Russell Curtis, founding director at RCKa.
  • Marianne Heaslip,  associate principal, URBED

Read the full RIBA article HERE.