ArgumentNo. 13/2021

The Space of the Urban Dwelling - a New Paradigm. The Potential of the Traditional Urban Fabric to Adapt to a New Way of Dwelling

  • / assist. PhD. stud. arch., “Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and Urbanism, Bucharest, RO


The present context, impacted by the pandemic, has emphasized during the last year a series of problems regarding the spaces where man engages in his daily activities. Foreshadowed at first as short term changes in the daily routine, isolation, quarantine, social distancing and work from home have become common aspects of the present reality changing the perception man had about the spaces he lives in. One of the most impacted by change during the last year is the space of the house, in particular the space of the urban house that changed into a hybrid space, a surrogate for the activities that once took place outside of the house: work, education, leisure.

The translation of all these activities inside the house has generated some dysfunction that manifests mostly in the case of collective housing: insufficient space, restricted contact with the outside, minimal opportunities for socialization being just some of the shortcomings of the collective housing in the new context. Changing the paradigm of urban housing seems, in the present reality, more than necessary.

A territory with potential in reimagining the urban dwelling is rrepresented by the areas with traditional urban fabric. These areas are plagued by their own problems such as: the old and abandoned houses that are becoming more and more degraded and that in some cases are demolished the area becoming infested with foreign interventions that do not belong in that particular place. The typology of dwelling from this areas seems that has more to offer that the model of the apartment: direct contact with the ouside, being closer to your neighbors, the small public ares from the vicinity. In this regard, the paper will investigate the transformations the space of the urban dwelling has suffered during the last year, the dysfunction that have emerged as a result of these transformations and housing models that could better respond to the current needs generated by the pandemic crisis

Keywords: urban dwelling, context, hybrid dwelling, dwelling during the pandemic, post-pandemic dwelling, new paradigm, traditional urban fabric

Published in Argument 13/