Last month, we introduced a new focus on service architecture, or as we call it – living as a service. It’s a wide-reaching concept that seeks to question how we can best design and integrate services into our architecture. Whether it takes form as an aparthotel, eldercare or even student housing, the uniting thread between these environments is that the services themselves are integral to their functional success.

By using our pilot projects from this specialty as a starting point, we continue to build upon and define our design process in developing new concepts for service architecture as well as share our thoughts on how we foresee it all developing in the future.

 

While the industry for digital UX has become rather robust in the past few decades, similar approaches towards physical, 3D space (ex. spatial UX) is a more recent phenomenon. This means that instead of studying the user experience of an app on an iPad, the focus is instead on how spatial elements create various user experiences. With this framework in mind, it becomes natural to ask different questions of ourselves as architects, ranging from: “What exactly is the experience path of a user in this space? Do we understand their needs?” to “Are there behavioral patterns we’re missing that could help us develop entirely new design concepts?”

These were exactly the kinds of inquiries that guided two of our most recent pilot projects into this field. For Puistonmäki eldercare home, we developed a new living concept for both the individual units and shared spaces to ensure that the spatial logistics and material qualities supported their intended use for every hour of the day. On the other hand, for Aparthotel Oslo, we zeroed in on advancing a long-term accommodation model without compromising on quality. In both of these examples, we aimed to challenge and shift preconceptions about particular serviced environments to create unique spaces that not only better suit their users, but also help our clients differentiate themselves within their respective markets.

With the diverse tools and knowledge afforded to us by modern technology, we can continue designing buildings in the future that are ultimately more efficient and sustainable than before. A thorough inquiry into the spatial user experience might allow us to collect data that, for example, more accurately predicts movement patterns for various user groups or better pinpoints the exact services that would benefit everyone. This way, we are able to make more informed design decisions that truly represent and provide for the diverse people who occupy these spaces while unearthing new concepts that suit our ever-changing world.

Above all, architecture supports people’s livelihoods. We strongly feel that design is at its best when solutions are both subtle and thoughtfully articulated so that the entire user experience is not only seamless, but also a memorable one too. For our service architecture and hospitality projects alike, we hope to continue achieving this in the future.

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