We hope the focus on community increases. While ever-taller towers in the City grabbed headlines last year, we need to remember that most buildings people interact with are homes and workspaces.
As architects, we can improve people’s quality of life through our designs. Progress has already been made ensuring new-builds offer decent standards of accommodation, including good levels of natural light, ventilation, access to external space etc.
The next step is to reimagine how we use space to engender a sense of community, breaking the isolation and atomisation that has sadly come to define urban living. I hope projects can start to be evaluated looking at long-term societal benefits rather than immediate returns.
I expect there will be an acceleration in housebuilding as the government tries to reach its housebuilding targets. Modern methods such as offsite construction offer great possibilities to build faster and more sustainably.
In terms of workspaces, I think there will be a move towards co-working spaces. Around 62% of UK companies use less than 20,000 sq ft of office space, so don’t need their own real estate.
Resolution: To embrace the new by getting the basics right. The world has changed in recent years in the way people live and work, and the buildings they inhabit must change too. A side effect of this rapid change is a sense of isolation and disjointedness that many people feel. I believe design can be a remedy, from the urban scale to internal spaces that encourage wellbeing. I am reading Charles Montgomery’s Happy City, which is really inspiring me.
Félicie Krikler, director at Assael Architecture
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2019 forecast: Félicie Krikler (Assael Architecture)
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