The lobby is the first welcome you offer a guest or a worker.

It should be for any newcomer a welcomed surprise and for regular users a point of refuge against the outdoor world.








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  • Reducing smokers outside front doors. Whilst this may alienate some smokers it is still aghast to many North Americans the level of cigarette smoking still performed by Europeans. Smoking is very much seen as a pollutant. A bill was recently presented by a NYC City Councilman to reduce smoking on sidewalks to reduce the impact on non-smokers who see it as a violation of their personal space, body and health.

  • Give guests to the building a special welcome warm towels, fresh juiced/flavoured water to help with cleansing themselves from the outside world. Too often reception is that you are a threat, not a welcomed guest.

  • Quick & easy access to toilets for ‘refreshing’ after an often delayed journey.

  • Door concierge for taxis, clear visual cues on where to go.

  • Clean air of ground floor but do not do so at expense thermal comforts. Methods should include both high quality HVAC systems as well as incorporating biophilic materials in design.

  • Reduce visual glare and direct impact of light onto users eyes.

  • Offer service to combat strong weather elements - umbrellas to leave with.

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  • Green, restorative, like an oasis. Don’t let it be an airport waiting lounge.

  • Separate entrances offering an enhanced guest service from one side where building management offer better concierge services. These can include small elements such as shoe cleaning/drying from wet conditions, to phone charging services, to help on the next part of their journey.

  • Make it a visually interesting and restorative journey for the few minutes people are engaged with it - encourage a moment or two of dwell - but not coffeeshop!

  • Reduce visibility of outside world (buses/taxis/lorries etc)

  • Use technology for a check-in service. if coming for a meeting, have the ability to pre-request drinks/special services via email (not app).



  • It should be like stepping into another world. In lieu of looking to reduce visibility to the outside world could the lobby be a green oasis in line with the conservatories at Kew Gardens or the Barbican. Whilst a full “jungle” effect is not possible it is not acceptable for this to be half-hearted.

  • Reduce parking directly outside the building - allocate specific Uber/Taxi drop off points

  • Work with TfL / CoL to reduce speeding traffic and ensure that there is strong vegetation blocks that build safety barriers between road and pedestrian.


AIR QUALITY Toxic Air Cigarette smokers outside building Immediate discomfort in nasal passages to non-smokers, those who are pregnant, or those with asthma and other issues (H)

People likely to rush through area, affecting quality of experience. It can also case damage to walls and nicotine attaches itself to surfaces and growns (S).
4/5 5/5 Ensure that the front entrance of the building is a smoke free zone. Buildings are now encouraging smokers to step to the sides of the building or away from the building all together. Ensure signage is visible as well as have appropriate disposal for the cigarrettes
AIR QUALITY Toxic Air Traffic pollution entering through front doors Long term inhalation of pollutants can have an effect on productivity as it reduces general health, but also contributes to cognitive decline(H)

It can make HVAC function more expensive (S).
5/5 5/5 Have ventilation system either in door access units or immediately in close proximity. Left alone will mean that automatic machines will have to work harder to compensate for the additional pollutants. This can put stress on machinery, increase bills, and lower effectiveness. Another way to clean up air is to add plants, NASA has done a study on which plants clean the air and unit size.
AUDITORY Too loud Too many reflective surfaces High acoustic levels can impact our decision making as it elevate stress levels (H).

As face to face communication is important to all workers, having the correct accoustic levels for private conversations is essential to the quality of experience in these areas (S).
4/5 3/5 Having a person greet at the entrance and provide relevant information about how the space works. Creating smaller seating areas and creating areas lined against a wall indicating more physical safety. There could also be a technological solution attached, where a user could be informed about who is using the space at a given time. Aim to reduce “head-turning” and staring at any new person entering the space by separating sight lines.
LAYOUT No intamacy Too sparse When lobbies have wide spaces between furniture, it doesn't not signal the user it is an area of dwell or conversation (H).

This leaves lobbies as wasted space and a "no-mans" land (S).
4/5 3/5 Ask designers to think about breaking the area up into smaller visual fields and creating different areas of congregating that will allow for a feeling of privacy despite the open nature of the area
MOBILITY & ORIENTATION Confusion on direction Little to no signage, complex layouts, too much symmetry. "Feelings of confusion which can create stress response (H).

Collisions between people (S)
2/5 3/5 Clear emphasis on where guest should go. This can be done by separating guest/worker entrances. Guest entrance would have clear visual cues on which side of the building they should be walking towards, this can also be done by a door concierge guiding them upon welcoming them to the building and asking if they have any special requirements.
MOBILITY & ORIENTATION Entering from wrong side Poor directions to building Frustration from not reaching destination (H).

Potentially being late for a meeting by entering at the wrong side of the building (H).

Too many people clogging up entrances on realising they are in the wrong location and quickly turning around (S).
3/5 4/5 Clear directions for guest on where to enter as well as effective promotion of destination retail space. This could come in the form of using Bevis Marks as the address for guests to the office building and Houndsditch for guest to the retail space as to not cause confusion.
PHYSICAL COMFORT Feeling physically uncomfortable Wrong furniture Having the wrong furniture accounting for all demographics can cause physical discomfort (H).

Lack of accommodating furniture will reduce dwell as well as increase chance of mis-use of furniture such as sitting on chair backs (S).
4/5 5/5 Paying careful attention to varying demographics physical needs is an essential priority for 21st Century welcoming spaces. This means having furniture that is easy to get in and out of for older persons, those with physical impairments and physical differences such as dwarfism.
SOCIAL In wrong place Poor directions to building. Quick movement of people and angry body language can worsen atmosphere (S/H). 3/5 4/5 Clear directions for guest on where to enter as well as effective promotion of destination retail space. This could come in the form of using Bevis Marks as the address for guests to the office building and Houndsditch for guest to the retail space as to not cause confusion.
SOCIAL Agitation Lack of washroom facilities. Having to ask to use a common/shared washroom facility and use specialist keycard puts a person at the low end of guest, this decreases any welcome tone being sought (H).

It is likely to lead to poor treating of a facility (S).
2/5 5/5 Ensure clear and easy access to washroom/refreshing facilities. Ensure there is no need to keycards. Washrooms should be more like a hotel where calm music is played, there is incense providing nice smells, information on events that are on in the building, as well as soft lighting to help a person calm down.
SOCIAL Feeling of intimidation Unnecessary security attention Feeling unwelcomed, that you are lesser . It lessens the experience of walking into a "verticle village" (H). 3/5 5/5 Moving towards the "Hotel" model, they should be the start of the experience of the building. This is where that first part of the conersation starts. Therefore appropraite training to have Security/Hosts greet and welcome people in will help elevate the experience as well as keep people safe. In fact if security is charged with greeting people they will likely be better at face recogniting the people in the building than if they just roam the lobby.
SOCIAL Feeling uncared for Lack of attention paid to current physical/psychological state having navigated a busy city and even busiesr business district. Feeling agitated that you still need to calm down before a meeting (H).

Need to use restroom facilities in clients offices, can break momentum of first meeting (S).
2/5 4/5 At reception offer quick fixes to the outside world to help someone refresh their state of mind. Quick fixes can include selections of mint/fruit water, as we well as hot/wet towels to clean hands/face/neck. This can be done whilst someone is checking in and reduce an unnecessary trip to a bathroom if time is tight. This also gives reception another use more "consierge" feel in line with the "village" and expectations of a 21st century office. It should not feel like the 1950's. This is also where the "human" out does the "robot", make the reception area/greating as part of engaging the user rather than just a check in counter...automation can do that!
SOCIAL Feeling rushed Having to take shelter from adverse weather whilst waiting for transport and not having appropirate provision Lasting memory of a space is unwelcoming, that you're no longer priority now that your meeting is over (H).

Congestion in lobby area can impact flow into space and increase noise and chance of chaos (S).
2/5 2/5 Ideally, amending the exterior of the property to provide a waiting area for taxis that provides shelter. At minimum, advise guests on which side is more effective to collect/hail at taxi.
THERMAL Too hot Interior air conditioning not adjusting to outdoor levels Immediate physical discomfort (H).

This stressor can distract from conversations being had in the the lobby. It and needing to remove outerwear in awkward place, reducing 'prestige' of space if people are undressing and dropping clothing anywhere (S).
3/5 4/5 "Indoor temperature needs to be adjusting to compensate for heat levels rising from (a) public transport, (b) physical activity, and (c) potential adverse weather.

Tested comfort zone 18.9-26.1 C. Aim for relative humidity between 40% and 70% as does not have a major impact on thermal comfort. Plants can also help create a better indoor thermal climate.

Consider green options for cooling. "
THERMAL Too cold Air conditioning too high For periods of dwell, discomfort will arise causing physical irritation and distraction (H). People may be less willing to wait in one place seeking to move to keep warm, thus causing distraction to others, and that it is not a calm and welcoming space (S). 5/5 4/5 Views should face on to areas of nature as opposed to public realm. If outdoor area is accessible to public consider privacy film for partial cover to protect intimacy and reduce unwanted distractions.
VISUAL Distractions Visual "noise" from outside Any attempt to welcome, disarm, calm a person in a place of refuge will be offset if there is constant visual distraction from passing vehicle and pedestrian traffic (H).

Temptation will be to move away from places where window access is clearest (S).
4/5 5/5 Covering of windows to reduce visual distraction, but not to exclude light, such as film. Encouraging visual interest internally will help mitigate outdoor distractions. To combine with outdoor trees it can be a good idea to increase greenery internally. This will also increase air quality.
VISUAL Glare Bad lighting Overhead lighting too strong causing fatigue on visual system, reducing ability to restore from outside world (H).

Too much halogen lighting increasing heat in area (S).
2/5 3/5 Passive Home technology. Tested comfort zone 18.9-26.1 C. Insulation of windows and doors. Warmer lighting to change physical perception of temperature.
VISUAL Too dark Not enough natural light There are now countless studies that advocate for natural whereever possible for both cognitive and physical health 5/5 5/5 Due to the building's location and angle, there will be little natural light coming into the building, therefore investing in good quality warm lighting will be essential, especially in the winter months. working a lighting engineer to help reflect the natural light that does come in the space will help maximise it.