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The pandemic has renewed the emphasis on health and wellbeing in architecture, including when designing student housing.

In addition to keeping students connected, housing design should also take student health and wellbeing into account during development. Kelly Naylor, director of interior design and senior partner with BKV Group, and Megan Van Beck, senior interior designer, were interviewed by Multi-Housing News to discuss the positive change.

“Health and wellness trends focus on mind, body and spirit, with a much greater focus on overall mental health,” Naylor explained. “As we focus on wellness, we look to provide a strong connection to nature, amenities including study lounges and fitness centers are being designed in a way that brings the outdoors in, whether it be through large windows or operable walls that can be opened in warmer months.”

Because of this, student housing is beginning to lean towards “spaces that feed the spirit,” such as creative spaces and group lounge areas.

“Most students still want that traditional college experience. This means that we need to retain those social amenities, but we also need to rethink how they might function,” Van Beck said. “There are simple changes we have made, like more spacious seating arrangements to allow for social distancing. We also find that providing flexible spaces that can easily transition from study to social space helps to keep amenity square footages from ballooning.”

Click here for the full interview with Naylor and Van Beck.

Click here for a related post about an intentionally designed biophilic school.