Concept home shaped by the pandemic designed to teach lessons

Concept home shaped by the pandemic designed to teach lessons

A two-storey four-bedroom house in North Carolina, USA designed in response to the challenges brought about by the pandemic, is generating interest among architects, builders and homeowners across the world.

Following the global outbreak of the pandemic in 2020 and the consequent lockdowns that forced people to stay at home, families particularly faced challenges in accommodating the needs of each member as they studied, worked, played and relaxed in the same limited space. The unique perspective arising from limited movement in the home environment motivated three women with decades of combined homebuilding industry experience to study and construct a more efficient, effective, and current home ideal.

Teri Slavik-Tsuyuki, a community design and marketing expert, spearheaded the America at Home Study in collaboration with consumer strategist Belinda Sward and architect Nancy Keenan, president and CEO of Dahlin Group Architecture Planning.

“Many industries were negatively impacted by the pandemic; but missing from the daily conversation was how COVID-19 and ‘life from home’ revealed deep dissatisfaction with our individual home environments as they became ‘catch all’ destinations for multiple family members for work, school, play and rest,” said Slavik-Tsuyuki. 

Consumer insights from the America at Home Study conducted during the first two waves of the pandemic in 2020 informed the design of ‘Barnaby’, the concept home, with the online surveys revealing Americans’ desire for home purchases, how they live in their homes, and what changes they’d like as a direct result of sheltering in place. The studies covered nearly 7,000 homeowners and renters across America, with their responses guiding the design of the home, which was built by North Carolina homebuilder Garman Homes.

Completed in just 60 days, Barnaby serves both as a model of human desires in a post-pandemic world as well as an inspiration to homebuilders and architects as they design and build future homes.

Spread across two floors, the 4-bedroom, 3.5-bath home is designed for a hypothetical family consisting of two working parents, one who works from home and the other outside. The home supports safety, comfort, and wellness through separate homeowner and guest entries, two dedicated home offices – one on each level, multipurpose spaces, a larger family bathroom, multiple covered outdoor spaces, flexible storage, drop zones for package deliveries, and more.

A garage off the back of the home houses the owner’s entry, a mudroom, laundry room, secondary refrigerator, and powder room. The guest entry, positioned in the front of the house, leads to an oversized vestibule with glass pocket door and access to a guest suite, all of which are isolated from the rest of the house to contain and control the flow of people and germs.

“After spending significant time in their homes during the pandemic, many Americans leaned into greater wellness and comfort as well as stronger reflections of personal taste including layout changes, dedicated office space and more storage,” says Garman Homes’ CEO and co-founder Alaina Money-Garman. 

Image: Supplied