When our commercial developer client, ViaWest, introduced us to this space, it was dated, dark, and underutilized. An anchor tenant had just moved out, and the building’s owner wanted to reactivate and modernize the space. After consulting with our client, we made a plan to create an atmosphere that was both impactful and user-friendly. Our vision for the space comprised different areas that could lend themselves to multiple functions, useful as a waiting area, for one-on-one interviews, large group conversations, or remote working.
Since many of the finishes could not be changed, we chose neutrals to minimize the impact of the existing terrazzo flooring that had pink, feminine undertones.
To finish the space and draw the eye up to the expansive ceiling and windows, we designed sophisticated but modern string art “chandeliers”. They were the perfect finishing touch—something different and memorable to keep people talking even after they leave.
Senior Designer | Western Region
Lobby Design Considerations
Commercial lobbies are not merely transition spaces, areas to be moved through when traveling from one place to the next. They are in fact people’s first experience of your building; they set the tone for whatever comes next. Designing a lobby for a commercial building requires a multifaceted approach that takes into account functionality, aesthetics, safety, and the overall impact it has on a building’s occupants and visitors. Here are several important items to consider when planning a new lobby:
The lobby is the first interior space people encounter in your building, so it’s crucial to design a welcoming, attractive, and comfortable environment that aligns with your company’s overall brand and image. Consider natural lighting, unique art installations, live plants, and high-quality materials to make the space inviting.
Space Planning and Traffic Flow
Your lobby should provide a clear path to key areas such as elevators, stairs, restrooms, and front desks. Ensure that there is enough space for people to move around comfortably, especially during peak business hours.
Security and Access Control
Depending on the nature of your building, you may need to incorporate security measures into your lobby design. These can include access control systems, security desks, CCTV cameras, and space for security personnel. The challenge is to integrate these elements without making the space feel unwelcoming or intimidating.
Durability and Ease of Maintenance
The materials and finishes in the lobby should be able to withstand high foot traffic and regular cleaning. Choose durable flooring materials and wall finishes that are easy to clean and maintain.
As with all common areas, lobbies must comply with all relevant accessibility standards and guidelines to ensure that everyone, including people with disabilities, can use the lobby comfortably and safely.
Furniture and Amenities
Depending on the size and function of your building, your lobby might require seating areas, a reception desk, digital signage, mailboxes, parcel delivery areas, etc. All of these elements should be durable, comfortable, and in line with the overall design of the space.
Consider energy-efficient lighting, natural ventilation, and sustainable materials to minimize the environmental impact of the lobby. This can also contribute to building certification efforts, such as LEED.
Don’t overlook the sonic character of the space! A lobby can get quite noisy, especially in larger buildings. Effective acoustic design can help manage noise levels and create a more pleasant environment.
With the rise of smart buildings, technology is increasingly important. Consider incorporating digital directories, interactive displays, WiFi connectivity, and other tech-friendly features.
This is a big one at EdgeQuarters. Your needs can change over time, so design flexibility into every aspect of your building’s spaces, including the lobby. Let us show you the many ways we can make it easier to adapt your lobby for different uses.