First impressions are an important part of human interaction and often set the tone for the relationships that follow. The lobby is your building’s first impression. Not only does it create a lasting memory and adds value by orienting users to the space or brand, but it ignites curiosity to the aesthetic value of the balance of the building’s interior. While trending single and multi-tenant building amenities now include a gym, showers, bike storage, rooftop gardens and outdoor meeting areas, such additions are often prone to limitations due to exit ways off the roof, inadequate bay depths, or lack of exterior real estate.
The lobby is a building’s statement. Traditionally a transitional area manned by security and used only on route to the elevator; the successful lobby is welcoming, comfortable and a functional destination. The evolution of lobbies to the collaborative third-workplace has become a significant differentiator in the leasing of multi-tenant buildings which not only declares a developer’s competitive edge, but for the high market tenant, is a key contributor to brand perception with the potential to influence recruitment, and retention.
While workplace design trends ebb and flow, the pendulum is steadying. Modern officing is about choice. No longer do users think of the desk as the only place to work. It’s about offering the option to go either to a smaller two person phone room or meet with four people in a slightly larger room or go to an informal lounging area if doing something that doesn’t require heads down thinking. Like working from home there is the opportunity to work in various places as the mood dictates, the lobby amenity adds to that layer.
“For Post Montgomery Center (the former Crocker Galleria), we are creating an entire amenities center that includes an informal lounge, and conferencing area that allows tenants not to have to build excessively large conference rooms in their space,” said Terry Kwik. “These rooms can fit up to 100 people and can be subdivided into a smaller space.” His Park Place, Dublin lobby design, slated to begin construction mid-2017, will host collaboration spaces, meeting rooms, a coffee bar and media center. Gary Koshaba added, “Commercial developers on the city outskirts have the same standard of design and amenities to uphold.” “Don’t kill the brand in the suburbs.”
Hospitality and residential nuance have added value to new ways of seeing commercial lobby design. Regardless of square footage, updating tiled walls and ceilings with lighting design, warm colors, wood finishes, and soft textured neutral fabrics, can induce comfort to a once stagnant space. Lounge seating clusters, bar height tables, or single high back chairs offer options for informal meetings or quiet work in a light, bright space.
The lobby of today is an experience, a fluid, functional space that adds value to all occupants and developers.