Thanks to problematic and challenging global conditions, more and more people are working from home these days—and may continue to do so, far into the future. In response to the manner in which the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives—and our work—Paris design firm Studio BELEM has proposed the development of Aula Modula, a conceptual live/work urban housing scheme that focuses on flexibility, community and sustainability. Aside from supplying individual workspaces for work-from-home units, Aula Modula also would come complete with green spaces to reintroduce nature to the city.

Planned to befit a post-COVID-19 world, Aula Modula merges characteristics of high-density urban living with increased access to nature. Studio BELEM says that the idea represents an evolution from conventional western building design and urban planning models that have been static for decades and do not take into consideration diminishing greenery in communities, increasing commute times and the conveniences provided by online technology.

Aula Modula will not be planned to adhere to the standards and codes of conventional housing, said the architects via a project statement, instead reintroducing nature to the city, allowing for many common areas and social interactions among those who live there. Aside from home offices in every apartment, the live/work complex offers community access to a central courtyard as well as terraces to provide an atmosphere of community — both social and professional — amongst inhabitants and workers.

The architects propose to build the development mostly from timber to reduce the complex’ carbon footprint. Aula Modula also is planned to include green roofs irrigated via recycled and treated wastewater, a network of terrace vegetable gardens and a community greenhouse warmed through recovered thermal energy from the structure. The apartments would be positioned atop a mixture of retail and recreational buildings, like a grocery store, craft brewery and yoga studio.