comment 1

Lobbies as pseudo-public spaces

This is a good idea (taken from a recent FT article by Edwin Heathcote):

The hotel lobby is already understood as a kind of public space, the corporate lobby should belong to that same world, a place open to the functions of the city, porous and welcoming. It is no accident that the vast lobbying industry has that name, lobbies are where encounters occur.

Sometimes we do this. Maybe there’s a coffee shop or some other activations in your lobby. But more often than not, a “good” corporate lobby is about grandeur and security, which means that they do very little to animate the street.

In the above article, Edwin reminds us that before the invention of the modern office building, the entire city functioned as a kind of dispersed workplace. Places like coffee shops and pubs were, of course, central to this.

While this is still partially the case today — people continue to like coffee and beer — it is interesting to think about what more we could be asking of our office lobbies. And I do think it is more.

1 Comment so far

  1. Big function of lobby design in places like Toronto, Montreal, and Calgary also needs to be making it easy and inviting to transition between street level and the pedestrian network level (below grade for PATH or RESO, above for +15). Would imagine that retail can play a role in that.

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