Conceptual Design Changes For Contemporary Houses After Covid-19 by Gary Kittredge

April 12 17:48 2021

There’s no denying that the emergence of COVID-19 has caused a tectonic shift in the world order. Society, technology, pandemic, and the economy all influence the contemporary houses and communities where we live. Whether a primary residence or retreat, migration to the suburbs and coastal communities is not a new trend, but it has become more pronounced since the pandemic.

The single largest demographic in the US labor force are millennials, many of whom are re-evaluating the need for high rents in small apartments. Therefore, it’s only logical that urban dwellers would seek clean air, fewer people, smaller communities, mountain and seaside resort areas, where the risk of infection, cost of living, and carbon footprint, are lower.

New York City experienced the highest population losses as more than 110,000 residents left the city from February to July 2020. That’s 487% growth (or nearly five times) compared with the number of outgoing movers that left Manhattan in 2019. Brooklyn ranked sixth last year, but numbers quadrupled in 2020, pushing it to second place.

Multiple surveys and studies, including Harvard Business Review, report that well-established remote work practices and flexible schedules increase productivity. More than 50 percent of remote employees are ready to work overtime, rarely take sick days, and have increased job satisfaction.

The permanency of remote jobs means that people will design their work-at-home spaces differently. A spotlight has been cast upon the way residences can accommodate the demands of this new, unforeseen era. The connections to our homes, both physical and mental, have never been greater, far more than mere living spaces; we have found new ways to work, study, exercise, play, and entertain.

New priorities for New York architects have emerged from the pandemic, with orientation to the sun, air quality, ventilation, an abundance of natural daylight, dedicated work-at-home spaces, and a flexible layout at the very top. Taking a responsive position as top Miami architects, New York architects, and Los Angeles architects it’s our job to stay at the forefront of those changes to set up the new standards of contemporary houses.

Enter the House for Retreat, with its cozy, relaxing ambiance finished to high standards. This beautiful and innovative residence designed by RNA Lead Contemporary Architect, Alex Penna, aims to offer an environment that combines luxury with efficiency. The design showcases timelessness with sophisticated architectural elements, vast glass walls, clean lines, and sculptural forms, respect for the environment, and enhanced outdoor living options. The comfortable, healthy, and pleasant surroundings, free of distractions, are conducive to a clear and focused mind and improved productivity.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, most architects-oriented houses north/south to block direct sunlight, with balconies and roof extensions. However, the trend now is to use an east/west orientation to allow natural sunlight to reach deeply into the house to reduce bacteria and virus strength and dispersion. Sunlight also regulates our circadian cycle, which affects our mood. The ultraviolet rays of natural daylight in the space effectively prevent the spread of unwanted microorganisms.

Contemporary architects interpret these trends, needs, and preferences in their designs while creating unique living and working spaces.


RNA specializes in cutting-edge ultra-contemporary single-family luxury homes and has won 11 American Institute of Architects awards for their compelling and sustainable designs, and has been named a Top 50 Residential Coastal Architecture Firm for the past 6 consecutive years by Ocean Home magazine. Rex Nichols Architects was founded in 1985 and has completed hundreds of projects worldwide.

To learn more about RNA, please visit

Contact: Rex Nichols Architects / (800) 952-1044

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