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Publication date: 2 December 2020

Donia M. Bettaieb and Reem Alsabban

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the compulsory quarantine of many of the world's inhabitants, and by staying at home, several functional developments emerged in…

Abstract

Purpose

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the compulsory quarantine of many of the world's inhabitants, and by staying at home, several functional developments emerged in residential spaces in Jeddah that affected the role of the house as a contributor to individuals' quality of life under the pressures of quarantine. Given the necessity of the apartments to adapt to these emerging developments, this study explores the determinants associated with the flexibility of residential apartments by looking at the extent to which they meet the new psychological, social and cultural roles required by their users post-COVID-19.

Design/methodology/approach

The qualitative approach (1) extracted concepts related to the flexibility of housing from the available literature and (2) extrapolated the flexibility of the residential apartments from the participants' study (12 families) in different areas of Jeddah by analyzing the results of targeted interviews.

Findings

There is a gap in the participant's understanding of the quality of housing and the level of satisfaction with a housing design that differs before and after their quarantine experience. The participant's adaptation to self-quarantine was mainly through furniture distribution, and housing flexibility was less reliant on the physical transformation of the place than on the change in the inhabitants' perceptions. There was an indication that the deficiencies of flexibility in design relates to the functional, cultural and structural aspects of residential buildings.

Originality/value

This study generated suggestions to develop the foundations for flexible housing design and activate its role under the post-quarantine context according to social and cultural variables. Some proposals should become future requirements for residential apartments to benefit officials and stakeholders to develop housing flexibility.

Details

Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2631-6862

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