ISOscape explores building a pandemic-resilient home

Jan 27, 2021
  • Article by Online Contributor

Jaslyn Ng, senior project architect at Billard Leece Partnership, began her ISOscape series at the start of Melbourne’s second Stage 4 Lockdown. Here, she graphically explores how her family and home have adapted to the pandemic’s restrictions.

The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged everyone to rethink home as a multifunctional space. Our lives are now cramped into a single space, including work, school and care. It is very fascinating to see how everyone adapts to this new normal.

I had made some impromptu changes in my house to accommodate everyone’s needs. We added a new desk and digital devices into our bedroom for quiet learning and working. Our open plan living room, dining and kitchen has transformed into multifunctional space for loud activities.

Although we have the flexibility to separate the quiet and loud zones in our house, it is still hard to define these spaces with young children at home. Sometimes we just have to attend a video conference call with my children doing silly faces in the background. When we have important meetings, it is usually held in our walk-in robe for better acoustics.

We are very grateful for what we can manage in our house even though this new way of working and living is very challenging. Our bigger concern is when we step in and out of our front door. How do we adapt to the new normal of pandemic living?

So here is the procedure of re-entering our home. We carefully take off our masks, sanitise and wash our hands thoroughly. All reusable masks or pieces of clothing go directly into the washing machine. Our entry hall now acts like a clinical anteroom.

Jaslyn Ng, ISOscape creator and senior project architect at Billard Leece Partnership.

Normally, a house is not designed for clinical uses. There is no need to have separation between the clean and dirty zones.

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted me to rethink how I prioritise the function and zoning of my home. For me, how I use my living room or bedroom is not important. It is more important to ensure there is no contamination between the clean zone and dirty zone.

ISOscape (short for isolation-scape) is the ever-changing new way of living, where social distancing is a necessity between individuals as a result of the current global pandemic of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The ISOscape project was created and curated by Jaslyn Ng, an architecture educator and experienced senior architect based in Melbourne, Australia. This project aims to address and respond to the impact of the current pandemic on individuals, families and greater communities. This is a series of open discussions created to challenge the ever-changing isolation requirements.

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