The design groups a balcony together with flexible space off a living area, which can be partitioned for work or other uses
Spotted: During the COVID-19 lockdowns, those living in apartments and flats very quickly realised that many dwellings are not designed to adapt to the changing needs of residents. A lack of outdoor space also made it difficult to get enough fresh air and ventilation for those working from home. One solution is to design living spaces to be more adaptable. Architectural photographer Hari Kumar and architect Will King proposed a novel version of this in their recent Davidson Prize entry.
The Davidson Prize, which was launched in 2020, aims to promote wellbeing with designs for transformative architecture of the home. Each year entrants will be asked to consider a different aspect of the home. For the inaugural year, the prize started with exploring future ways of working. For their entry, Kumar and King developed OutsideIn, a new kind of spatial layout for homes. The design groups a balcony together with flexible space off a living area, which can be partitioned for work or other uses.
The OutsideIn design includes, “sliding external doors, internal partitions and curtains that conceal into pockets allow effortless reconfiguration, while a dedicated standing desk with shelving is integrated as an attractive piece of furniture.” The idea is to transform apartments into living space that can be easily adapted to changing needs. The concept includes designs for a planter and bench for the balcony, to help residents connect with nature.
The designers describe OutsideIn as, “a porous space – part inside and part out – providing residents with options and choices to help make life working from home more joyful.” It is intended primarily to help people make the most of working from home in a small space, by orienting the space more towards the outdoors – even when that outdoors is limited.
One good thing that has come from the pandemic is an outpouring of creative ideas for making our living and working spaces more flexible and comfortable. Some of the recent architectural innovations covered here include a workstation that doubles as art and a smart living space whose bed raises to reveal an integrated workspace.
Written By: Lisa Magloff