In less than eight weeks, Covid-19 has re-ordered virtually every industry in the world.But few more rapidly than real estate and development. Now that hundreds of millions of people have gotten a new taste of how important “home” actually is—as a safe haven, a de facto schoolhouse, an impromptu remote office, and a forced, familial psychological petri dish—the spaces we live in, and more importantly what we demand of them, stand to look profoundly different in the post-coronavirus world.
Real estate development and architecture have always had a tail wags the dog relationship. Architects are paid to be visionaries and idea factories. But it’s often the developers who hire them that inspire the most transformative innovations. Long after the architects have moved on, they’re the ones who still answer to the customer, process feedback (and blowback), and are pushed continually to innovate and problem-solve.Today In: ForbesLifeIn response to the Covid-19 pandemic, many of the world’s largest developers are rapidly rethinking their visions for the future of the built environment. Projects under construction are being re-designed on the fly. Floor plans are being redrawn. Cigar lounges with touchscreen humidors are being canned.This top-down re-visioning of real estate will have an outsized, trickle-down impact on how we build, the materials we use, how we move and interact with one another in public and private places, and what ultimately “space” should be and do for years to come. So why isn’t anyone talking about it?
Few cities understand this real estate “space race” better than Miami.Over the past decade, South Florida’s forward-thinking developers have pioneered many of real estate’s most boundary-bending amenities including: the high-rise car elevator (Porsche Design Tower), the flying car port (Paramount Miami Worldcenter), the private soccer pitch (Paramount Miami Worldcenter, again), in-unit aromatherapy and Circadian rhythm lighting (Muse Residences), the indoor ice skating rink, (Estates At Acqualina), and private rooftop helipads (1000 Museum).In the process, they’ve challenged the world’s leading architecture firms, engineers, contractors, and technology companies to push the limits of what was previously design science fiction to re-shape “possibility” in the built environment.