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  • Daniela Jiménez

Modular Departments for an Ideal Home Office

Since almost all of the world is self-distancing and isolating, it's very likely that you're spending more time than you're used to inside your home. This has caused architects like Woods Bagot to use their creativity and knowledge to design spaces that better adapt to the residents needs. While it's fairly common for people to work from home, it's also equally likely that they're also used to going out for exercise, walks, distractions and socializing, also, they usually have the possibility of working from their favorite coffee shop. Now we're all confined within our houses and apartments for work, exercise and entertainment, changing our routine and mood.

Self-distancing and isolation can be very hard when you live in a small apartment and that most likely, common areas such as gyms and pools, if you have them, are closed because of COVID-19. This has forced you to find a way to use the available space to live as normally as possible, hence why Woods Bagod designed a modular system for an apartment in which the panels can be moved to create different spaces throughout the day for activities such as play time, cooking, working or exercising. This kind of apartment could be the solution for people who spend most of their time, before and after the pandemic, at home.

The AD-APT is a series of adjustable walls and screens that can be used to divide spaces into designed areas like an office, exercise room, entertainment area and bedrooms. This is an answer to a problem that they think will rise after all of this is over, they think that people who were not used to working from home are actually going to start demanding that kind of work format in the future, hence spending more time at home.

"This would change the way in which we design and use our workspaces, schools and homes. While we expect physical changes to take place over time in offices and classrooms, changes in out own homes can actually be done faster." – Simon Saint

The AD-APT is designed to be rearranged throughout the day to comply with the needs of the resident. The architecture firm acknowledges that there are many ways in which people can adapt to working from home, but they have identifies to main trends:

The first would be the Split Shift Home, which was designed thinking on a couple with kids. They imagine that one of them works during the morning while the other one entertains the kids and in the afternoon the roles change.

The second one in called Double Desk Home, which is more likely to be used by roommates or couples without kids that tend to work at the same time. In this case, one of them would take over the dining room and the other one would be forced to move to some other, probable less comfortable, place of the apartment.

"While these two homes seem to have different needs, both have to be able to support different activities" said Saint to Dezeen, "Each one need a comfortable space that is acoustically separated from the other one for work, education, calls and entertainment."

While the AD-APT can be adapted depending the amenities the resident has available, the studio was imagined as an idea layout to demonstrate how the walls would work. In their proposal, a main corridor creates a space to store things while the rest of the apartment is composed by two movable cabins and a bathroom. Around the apartment you'd be able to find a series of spaces for storage and they also considered furniture that pulls out of the walls so that they can be stored when they're not in use, hence saving space.

In the Day Mode, the two cabins would be apart to create two separate spaces, one would be the home office in which the desk can be pulled down and up when you're done with it, while the other space would be spacious enough to be a dining room, also the table can be stored when not in use. For the afternoons, the volumes that divide the apartment would move to create three separate spaces, reducing the dining room and creating an additional bedroom to the main one.

Another modality they propose is Play Mode, in which the volumes are pushed to the perimeter of the wall and creating a spacious area that's perfect for entertainment and play. This kind of apartments in which small spaces are used to their maximum potential already exist but in this case, the volumes are used to create a more dynamic way of living that allows you the resident to have an active life within a reduced space.

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