Give new thinking to designing a safer built space

Shiro Architects’ goal is to design contemporary COVID-safe buildings, and to this end, beginning with our work on commercial offices, we are engaged in a program of continuing research and practice that aims to engage the best expertise, available minds and evolving workplace thinking of the day.

To us, in the workplace, COVID-safety is closely bound up with meeting the users’ daily expectation that their health will be protected by the companies they work for. They should be entitled to believe they will leave the workplace at the end of the day in no worse health than they entered it.

How those working in them feel about the spaces they occupy, and being given evidence that it has been designed purposefully to make them feel safe, is vitally important.

To feel protected from harm in a building, its users have to believe that their fears and concerns, and those of others like them, have been listened to, which means ways of acting to achieve this must be demonstrated.

We can offer your users this reassurance, based on our unique COVID-safe design-briefing methodology, and working with you, we can design a safer workplace for your people.


The likely criteria for a workplace solution to the COVID problem

Daily occupants of individual company workspaces need reassurance that the safeguards in place will ensure their health is not at risk when they are working within them alongside their peers.

Likewise, the design of those common, shared access spaces whose use no one can avoid – such as lobbies, entrances, corridors, lifts and escalators – must also meet this same expectation.

The workspace solutions offered can no longer represent designs based solely on fashion, random luck, guesswork, or impetuous designer taste, but must be based on better science, user involvement expressed in improved briefing inputs and better-informed management psychology.

And what we propose is an information-driven methodology whose findings can be rigorously iterated, documented and tested to reduce investment risk and construction cost throughout the design process and long before any design is implemented on site.

Moreover, we’ve written on this, researched and have first-hand experience of using the tools to develop these solutions, and we’d like to work with you to implement them.

And as we learn more, we intend to build out our expertise to implement other COVID-safe spaces for living, leisure, recreation and entertainment.

As experience and expectations will evolve, we won’t work only to a single design recipe, but, as always, we will aim to make better use of space, while continuing to deliver beautiful, practical – and safe – built solutions.