A lesson from the lockdown

BOXES vs CASES


Little by little, we are recovering certain normality after the pandemic crisis.


This year will be remembered as the year when the frenetic world that we used to live in stopped for a while. These months have been very hard, some of us have lost a loved one, some have lost their jobs, many have seen truncated their holiday plans, weddings, studies, business, in summary, we have all seen affected our existential routine, our lives.


We have spent months secluded in our houses deprived of seeing our friends and family with the objective of stopping the spread of the virus. And yet, these difficult and serious circumstances have helped us to value what's important. We have been able to make an important distinction between 'passing desires' and 'truly needs' in our lives. Desires are obvious, needs might not be.


One of the vital needs that we have valued the most has been our homes. Not only because they have offered us physical shelter during these unprecedented times but also a shelter for our souls and minds. During this period, we have noticed that our houses have great power over us and affect our mood and happiness, they shape who we are.



For the first time, we have globally experimented with a new vision of the domestic sphere, our houses have become our gyms, schools for the kids, our office and place to work, space where we interact with our friends, space to reflect and meditate, etc.


Under these circumstances, we have clearly understood that architecture makes more sense when is 'generic' and less 'specific'. It's like the comparison that we can do between a pipe case and a box - while the specific case can only accommodate a certain type of pipe, the box will be able to contain the pipe and other things.




Berthold Lubetkin, who pioneered modernist architecture in Britain, used to refer metaphorically to his buildings as 'boxes'. He was underlining the idea that his buildings were designed as inclusive scenarios, not specific for a particular activity or use.


Most probably new pandemics and diseases will come, so we should reconsider our homes and enhance more flexible houses which will be able to accommodate more of our day to day necessities.


In conclusion, we want our buildings, especially our homes, to be more like a 'box' and less like a 'case'. Boxes that allow us to carry out multiples daily-life activities and help us to develop our personality in a healthy & happy manner.


(photographs by others).