In a world where space means everything, strong architectural decisions can make a big difference to happiness and wellbeing.
The philosopher Alain de Botton said in his best seller The Architecture of Happiness that “one of the great causes of both happiness and misery is the quality of our environment: the kind of walls, chairs, buildings and streets we’re surrounded by”.
In the modern world of having everything at our fingertips, researchers at the University of York estimate that we spend 90 per cent of our time indoors. With this in mind, it’s clearly important that the spaces we occupy, be it for work, play or rest, make us happy, and this is something that design and architecture can play into in a big way.
At Circle Square, we believe that space, design, location and community are important elements in helping lift mood and creating a happier way of life.
Location, greenness and a community focus, for example, are all elements of design that can help both residents and workers feel better and happier throughout the year.
Connectivity and mobility
When it comes to design, location is of key importance. More than ever, it’s become vital that people have the chance to live, study and work in close proximity to improve wellbeing and happiness.
A study from the Office for National Statistics showed the negative impact of a long commute. It said that those who travel for an hour or more see marked drops in happiness and rises in anxiety when compared to those who travel for less than 15 minutes to get to and from work or university.
Circle Square matches this criteria, located on the former BBC site on Oxford Road at the heart of Corridor Manchester, the neighbourhood is at walking distance from the city centre and will offer amazing connectivity by train, bus and Metrolink to surrounding areas.
Green spaces have become more of a focus in new developments in the last few years, for a number of reasons. It increases dwelling time on retail destinations, it improves the levels of stress and promotes a sense of wellbeing, it reduces the impact of noise pollution and improves the air quality.
Natural lighting and great outdoor views are something that we value strongly at Circle Square, and these are just two elements of green design that can help improve happiness, wellbeing and performance.
According to a Harvard Business Review study, people who work in a greener environment are happier, more productive and better performing than those who would be doing the same job in a more traditional environment, so buildings designed with light and space in mind, with large windows overlooking urban sprawls, for example, are great for promoting happiness.
When it comes to work, study and life, we believe that it’s important that people are able to strike a balance, and there’s nothing quite like the feeling of community to achieve this.
Sharing the space we live in can help to bring about that unique community mindset that promotes happiness across the board, which is something that has always been central to our vision at Circle Square, where living, working and learning combine with social and leisure activities to make happiness a priority.
A Halifax Happiest Homes report shows that being able to feel part of a community, socialise and mix with those who live in the same district is an important factor in people’s happiness.
Elizabeth Burton, former professor of sustainable building design and wellbeing at the University of Warwick also said that designing urban neighbourhoods that incorporate local amenities, such as shops, cafes, pubs and bus stops, is a fantastic way to encourage social interaction and walking, which in turn fuels happiness and wellbeing among residents.
Finding the right place to live and work can greatly help with improving general happiness. To find out how passionate Circle Square is about making this a reality, visit our website www.circlesquaremanchester.com
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