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April 14, 2019

How far have we progressed in wellness and health in housing design? "Integrative housing: Home, Work, Wellness" part III

The concept of work/life balance sounds like a myth these days as we are all facing more challenges in thriving for a healthy lifestyle. Since the first blog series I wrote about the place of wellness in residential Architecture, there seems to have been more work in research and practice in this area. The measures of wellness still seem to vary across different sectors in practice and academia, yet it is positive to witness how more architects, planners and developers are looking for ways to improve measures of wellness, through rethinking the design, planning and implementation of housing policies and regulations. In assessing the measure of health in a residential building, the physical features of the apartment units, such as air quality, natural light, the quality of water, etc. are often considered as critical. These features are now starting to be integrated with measures of sustainability and affordability by housing developers and occupational health and safety regulations.
The social and mental health is also looked at through the design of community spaces inside and outside the residential buildings, in the form of community gardens or other communal or gathering spaces such as libraries or more recently shared working spaces. Physical wellbeing, which used to be traditionally more focused on disability and the ageing population (an arguably important discussion) or through allocation of Gym and pool facilities, is now finding more inclusive directions by collaboration between architects and gym and exercise service consultants.
In my practice-based research project, I have been looking at the significance of wellbeing in multi-residential developments through the lens of design and planning, particularly in relation to the design of communal spaces and adaptable interior layout for apartment units. Movement and social interaction have been significant elements which I have been incorporating in this project to be able to propose new design models and guidelines. This practice-based project also introduces new typologies of communal/shared spaces beyond the conventional community gardens and communal gym facilities and the increasing demand for home/office design models and adaptation of shared-working places in multi-residential developments.


As this project requires collaboration between different stakeholders, I’d love to hear your views and interests for partnership. Please leave a comment or email me on if you’re an individual or a firm who is involved or interested In this topic.