The sustainability trend, which had its roots back in the 70’s, has to a large degree become a standard and this promises to continue to be a key trend in 2019.
But along with the health of the environment, another related trend is quickly gaining pace around the world, that of wellness architecture. Harmonizing the places that architects design with the environment is now enhanced with harmonizing it with the occupants of that space. Personal wellbeing and health dimensions of occupants are no longer fringe benefits, but key considerations, as architects look at the physical, emotional, spiritual, mental and occupational dimensions of space for people to thrive in.
While in the Algarve outdoor lifestyle is the norm, according to research, most people around the world still spend 90% of our time indoor. Numerous academic studies have also confirmed health impact of specific types of infrastructure and design features of the built environment, including reducing toxic substance exposure, improving sleep, reducing stress and supporting behavior change and healthier active lifestyles. What does that mean for architects? We need to take more time to understand the needs and life styles of our occupants within the framework of their health and wellbeing.
“Micro-Homes” — a home that on 93m² footprint hosts 2 bedrooms, bathroom, laundry , sauna, open-space living dining cooking and spacious sunset terrace.
For example, within the wellness lens, architects should also recognize the need for convenience, especially for the younger millennial generation. This will require us to rethink how space is used and what material is selected, going beyond sustainable materials to materials that are more organic and that enhance the health of the occupants, including lowering stress levels. It will also create the need to rethink the lines between home, work and leisure while making healthy homes more affordable.
Wellness architecture accounts for the fast-growing $134 billion wellness lifestyle real estate market, almost half the size of the global green building industry, according to the Global Wellness Institute. While still new to most of Southern Europe and the Algarve, according to the same source, there are now more than 740 wellness real estate and community developments built or in development across 34 countries according to the organization’s 2018 industry report. These include communities, housing, mixed-use projects, resort/spa-based real estate, and other types of projects.
I am very excited and inspired to lead this growing trend in Europe and I will be sharing more details on its application in future articles. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your thoughts and other trends you think will drive 2019 architecture design.