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Oh, brave new post-corona world!

May 8, 2020

We get asked a lot nowadays about the changes awaiting the sphere of architecture and design. Obviously, the world has split into “before” and “after” the coronavirus, especially in the field of tourism and HoReCa, but it is yet too early to predict the long-term impact. It could be that design will follow the new reality, or things might just as well go back to normal six months after quarantine is over.

But what could the changes be, when they do arrive? For starters, a number of restaurants may simply not re-open. Those that do, might have to spend large sums to check and repair ventilation systems to prevent the spread of infection in the future. Today’s trends are contactlessness, antibacterial coatings, digital technology, economy, functionality. Cutlery, glassware and plates might be brought to tables in individual packaging for customers’ confidence, paper menus will be replaced by digital or tablets with antimicrobial screens.

Surely, tight seating will become a thing of the past, with outdoor seating growing popular on roofs, patios and terraces. Open kitchens will give way to “ghost-kitchens”. It’s clear, in general, that more and more takeaway options will be introduced. Each restaurateur will wish to have an adjacent culinary shop, perhaps even with a contactless, sanitary pick-up window.

More essential now than ever will be flexible layouts, allowing to change the space for different occasions, as well as mobile partitions and screens for dividing common areas into private zones. At S+S we always say that the main factor for a place to be successful is functional zoning and mobility, especially now.

We like to imagine that the main trend in interior design will be “eco-futurism”. People will return to nature and simplicity with the help of technology. Restaurants and hotels have entered the struggle to protect nature years ago, and the tendency will only intensify. Rational use of space and materials, turning to local suppliers, natural and wear-resistant materials, vertical farming in cities and much more.

The transition to contactless life will be key with applications that allow you to call the elevator, place an order in a restaurant or turn on the light and adjust the temperature in the hotel room at a distance. For those who miss going to the store, contactless scanners will be introduced, withdrawing the purchase amount from the card through an active store application.

Doors in office buildings will become increasingly automatic with face recognition systems for employees; elevators might be replaced with open, wide staircases, while those elevators that remain will be narrow – fitting just two or even one – allowing to place more of them in one shaft and avoid long queues.

And whether office spaces will expand due to new density standards, remains to be seen, as more companies turn to remote work.

We are excited to observe such a rapidly changing reality, to fantasize and to create in new conditions.

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