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Tribute to the balcony. (It has saved my life these days)

Updated: Apr 6, 2020

By: Natalia Correa Méndez

Founder Jaguar Arte

In cities, human beings increasingly live in small spaces. While construction companies optimize every centimetre of space, the purchase and rental prices rise making us live in “reduced” spaces.

These days, as we are "forced" to stay at home, I’m thinking a lot about the characteristics of the place where I’m living, architecture, location and its open spaces; I’m even counting the number of windows. I’m getting concerned with the quality of the light, and now that the temperature is rising, with the amount of air flowing through the flat.

I'm fortunate to have a balcony. In the morning the sun falls on it, exactly from 10 to 11 AM, but if I had sun in the afternoon, from 4 to 5:30 PM, it would be the best time to just sit and feel the warmth on my skin.

I’m also thinking about what it would be like to live in a house with a garden. Blessed are all those who decided to live in a house with a patio, a garden, a terrace, or those who live on the top floor with a rooftop, or who have houses in the countryside, or who kept or planted a tree in their garden that gives them avocados, mangoes or tangerines.

At this time, I see the importance of being close to the trees, of being able to walk next to them, oxygenating and decorating my path. Now, more than anything, I need to feel the clean and fresh air, touch the soil, the grass or the sand with my feet.

Experts say that contact with nature is good for your health. For me, connecting with nature can be liberating.

It is worth asking where and how we will live when the confinement ends.

I would like to live in my childhood home again. Big rooms, big windows where the sun entered from 6 AM to 5:45 PM. Two gardens, one in the front and one behind the house. Each with a tree that bore flowers and fruit all year. A large patio where the clothes dried under the sun and the wind, creating a great corridor that allowed me to run.

However, moving back to the space constraints of 2020, I can also think about living in apartments planned in the direction of the sun, with natural airflow. Apartments built with sustainable materials and designs to better match the natural context, that adapt, unite and not separate its inhabitants; places, with a view of the sea, the river or the mountains; showers without a roof or with transparent ceilings. These spaces can be open, built with glass instead of cement, filled with urban gardens where some of our food can be produced.

Today, I experience the relevance of the connection with nature and its capacity for relief. It's a good first step to start rethinking how life will be once the confinement ends.

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