Architecture of the Pandemic

As we have witnessed during the COVID-19 pandemic, the built environment plays an important role in our strategies to contain the spread of viral diseases. This knowledge is not new. But the pressing circumstances brought renewed attention to the potential of the built environment – as a means to promote human health and as a means to control the transmission of diseases in society. However, architecture is and should be more than a health intervention. Architecture is also as an agent of quality in the built environment, with concerns that go beyond mere protection and delimitation. But how can these concerns about quality be integrated with the imperative to advance human health – in emergencies and in everyday life?

In this session we will discuss how architects and other stakeholders to the built environment can harness the experiences from the pandemic, to build back better – by designing environments which can offer protection and mitigate crisis, while at the same time increasing quality of life for its users.

The discussion will take a starting point in the recent publication Architecture of the Pandemic – a compendium of COVID-19 responses in the built environment.


Michele Di Marco

WHO Téchne coordinator, Architect & Disaster Risk Reduction specialist

William Ti jr.

Principal Architect, WTA Architecture and Design Studio

Ruffina Thilakaratne

Associate Professor, Department of Architecture, Chu Hai College of Higher Education, Hong Kong

Jesper Nygård

Chairman, UIA2023 Honorary Committee, & CEO, Realdania


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