Does Your Listing Have Enough Walls?

November 18, 2015

Home owners and businesses have pronounced a strong desire for open floor plansareas where fewer walls give a greater sense of spaciousness—over the past decade or more. But some British architects are suggesting that the trend may change soon as home owners in the near future require more walls.

In a recent article in Dezeen, several architects and designers forecast the end of the open-plan era. They say mobile technology is increasing the desire for more privacy. The desire for what is being called “fragmented” spaces comes from the increase in those who are working from home and a desire to have private screen time with phones or laptops. The trend may be more evident in business spaces, as backlash increases against open offices with a lack of privacy and, some say, focus.

Architects forecast a layout that might include studies and television rooms instead of large lounges. Also, split-level floors and sliding partitions may be used more often to help divide open spaces without closing them off entirely.

"Modern technology has consequences to our traditional living patterns and routines, and we are adapting to what is on offer," Mary Duggan with Duggan Morris Architects in London told Dezeen. "Like it or not, there is greater independence between family members and more out-of-sequence operations. They need a suite of spaces to accommodate this, so our plans are starting to fragment. Broken-plan is a term we are using a lot at the moment. It deliberately challenges open-plan living, encompassing all family activities and allowing them to function in tandem."

Still, she says there is demand for kitchen and dining spaces that have large countertops built to entertain guests. "The idea of having big theater rooms where families can cook and eat and talk are a constant part of the sequence," she says.

Source: “Smartphones and Tablets Spell the End for Open-Plan Living, Say UK Architects,” Dezeen Magazine (Nov. 12, 2015)