What will the new normal look like? We can look at the past for insight

It’s interesting to reflect how lasting the impact of other pandemics has been. One example is how the Tuberculosis Pandemic shaped Modernist Architecture.


Tuberculosis and pneumonia were among the leading causes of death in the early 1900s.Doctors prescribed sun, air and the outdoors. At this time, people typically lived in Victorian-era housing and tenement buildings. These homes contained upholstered furniture, carpeting, long draperies and an abundance of objects and accessories. Small windows limited access to natural light and ventilation.


Though sanatoriums began as cottages in mountainous regions, they evolved into buildings designed to aid recovery and limit the spread of the disease. The treatment of tuberculosis and the design of sanatoriums influenced the development of modernist architecture. One of these was Le Corbusier who was obsessed with illness and cleanliness, to the point that his 1929 Villa Savoye in France, seen here, has a hand-washing sink adjacent to the entrance.

Early modernist architecture was characterized by clean lines, white surfaces, large swathes of glass and indoor-outdoor living, it is a human-centred hospital aesthetic as it helped foster a lighter, airier, more open and hygienic environment.


So how do you think the services you offer and the places you offer them in might change as a result of the pandemic? Share your thoughts in the comments.



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