2022 has begun, and the pandemic is now in its second year. For us all, living in the pandemic is now our “normal”! But thankfully, as humans, we are able to change quickly. We are able to adapt as needed to make an uncomfortable space, comfortable.
We are recreating our happy space. A place where we can feel safe, nurtured and healthy. We can create a sense of “hygge“.
Meik Wiking, the author of The Little Book of Hygge, explains “that hygge has been called everything from “the art of creating intimacy,” to “coziness of the soul,” and even, “cocoa by candlelight.” In his book, Wiking explains that you know hygge when you feel it. Some of the key ingredients being togetherness, relaxation, indulgence, presence, and comfort.”
The true essence of hygge is a feeling. Like a hug, just without the physical touch. To me it is to feel nurtured and cocooned by the surroundings you are in.
At Hlevel we want to be able to create a “Happy Space or Hygge” architecturally. To do this we need to focus on the components that keep a human healthy. These being: –
Food, Water, Air, Sleep, Exercise and Love.
If all of these can be fulfilled, then our mental wellbeing will also be supported and prioritized.
Due to the pandemic and life’s circumstances, we have increasingly had to …….
Stay Home / Be solitary / Socialize less
Our home has become our hub. Our everything. office, gym, restaurant, our hotel But, if we do want to go out to a restaurant, or work in an office, go to the gym, we also, want to be reassured that it is clean, healthy and safe. It must create hygge.
How, can architecture do that? Well let’s see.
Over the last year we have touched on some of these topics, yet some are new or have evolved.
We need air to live, we need clean air to thrive and remain healthy. However, when working from home, or from an office, the air we breathe may not be as clean as we would hope. Therefore in 2022, we will see an increase in the quality of the HVAC systems in many spaces we will enter, Planes, malls, offices, schools and our own home.
If a building is not maintained or configured correctly with material use and air flow design, it can create a phenomenon called Sick Building Syndrome! –-! – (Yes people, your physical space can make you unwell.), which was synonymous with brutalist office spaces of the Seventies.
An inadequate air filtering system can create a perfect storm for the transmission of a virus.
Plants grow towards the light. Light is essential in creating oxygen and food, we eat food and breathe oxygen to live, so we too most certainly thrive with light. As humans we crave light.
As we become tied to the home as our everything for all facets of life, we need to allow natural light to flood in. We need it to grow, to be nurtured, to allow ourselves to flourish.
Architecturally we can bring light in with windrows, skylights, tall ceilings, light colored furnishings and materials.
In 2022 we will see the resurgence of the humble conservatory. Literally, a room that invites light and nature to come visit.
Which ties us very nicely in with our blog on Biophilic Design, bringing Nature Inside
“Biophilia is humankind’s innate biological connection with nature. It helps explain why crackling fires and crashing waves captivate us; why a garden view can enhance our creativity; why shadows and heights instill fascination and fear; and why animal companionship and strolling through a park have restorative, healing effects” – Quoted from Terrapin Bright Green
As the world becomes increasingly urbanized it is essential that buildings and living spaces introduce nature back inside. this can create harmony within in the living space and a softness that nurtures the mental state.
This could mean we see more trees being brought indoors, situated in large plants, think lemon and avocado trees. Living spaces purposefully built to accommodate and compliment nature. A resurgence of organic architecture, think Frank Lloyd Wright. This is when architecture melts into its natural surroundings. Embracing nature, letting light flood in and using natural materials.
Homes are clamoring to add conservatories, balconies, add plants indoors, use natural materials, create plant walls, roofs and water fountains.
All of which can create a sense of serenity and peace.
Evolving cities, homes and offices are all moving towards adding greater accessibility to green spaces.
Think courtyards, parks, gardens, green public outdoor spaces. The rise of outdoor art spaces.
We discuss this further in our article on Landscape Urbanism – which essentially means in its purest form, is a design movement that combines new green space with an old infrastructure.
Modern Architecture for years has meant white spaces and sharp edges, there was no fluff and comfort or as we say now hygge (yes this is my new favorite word). As we spend more time in the home, we want cozy corners. Therefore, in addition to involving nature in our designs we want our homes to feel, smell and invite a feeling of an oasis.
“Femininity will have an impact on form in 2022, conveyed through rounded details ranging from circular structural elements to gentle curves,” Ramos, CEO of the cultural forecasting agency The Ideatelier,
Adding more wood, gentle curves, scents can create a pleasant sensory experience for the individual. As people are feeling a little fragile after the events of the last 24 months.
So, the crux of the above is that now, more than ever, in 2022 architects will design and renovate with a clear “purpose”. I envisage that they and their clients will purposefully make decisions to create a home that exactly matches a human need.
This may be adding an office, workout room, green space, a home where a person can “age in place”
This can include but is not limited to decks, courtyards, attached garages, open plan spaces, cleverly planned storage, multifunctional spaces and additional dwelling unit.
For this to happen it is essential the client finds an architect that they can connect with and trust
Read our blog on “Why you should use an Architect” for more tips.
With the rise of active viruses and extreme climatic changes, the focus on green building is gathering speed, and is now essential to the survival and sustainability of the way we all live. Nature and humanity are colliding at an extreme rate.
This is where LEED can help. Which is a green accreditation used within architecture and building. Based on the point system a building can achieve one of the following accreditations
The team at Hlevel Architecture have you covered for all your green build / LEED needs. Currently on the team we have a Green AP and two members with technical LEED accreditation. But we also offer LEED and additional energy / green certifications in close collaboration with a local company who specializes in that area.
No one can truly predict the future, or what 2022 may hold. But we do know from the past year, that as people we are coming back home. The home will be central to our needs, wellbeing and mental health. We are less likely to go out in search of fun, happiness, experience and pleasure, we want it to already be secured within the abode we have cleverly crafted for ourselves.
Giving us the option to be solitary and cared for, or if we desire, we can invite others into to our oasis. However, this will be on our own terms. Or, we can make the decision to leave, but only when we feel safe and ready. This is however no longer essential to our needs, as we have everything we need in our own home. We have created hygge.
Now gives us a call and let us get you cozy.