Building Entryway Treatment and the Sense of Arrival

The feature image, reprised below, illustrates what the entryway of an apartment building, located in a select neighborhood, can encompass:

  • It is technically the point of entrance into a building and, perceptually, through its treatment at the scale of the building, the marker of its location on that building
  • It is perceptually, through the nature and visibility of its treatment at the scale of the street, the mean by which the building can be distinguished from others, thereby comforting one’s sense of pending arrival.
to illustrate entryway properties
Entryway treatment as marker of location on building and in the city


The following examples will illustrate the gradual increase in perceptual quality of selected apartment buildings entryway treatments in my immediate conventional neighborhood.

The minimally treated façade bound scheme, whereby the change of material around the door is perceptually enhanced with a slightly recessed placement of the door, accommodating a single step mini-landing transition from outside to inside the building.

To illustrate minimum treatment of entryway
Minimum treatment of entryway as marker of location on building and in the city


The façade bound decorated scheme whereby the entryway is not only framed with a reminder of a classic frontal colonnade, but is also located atop a series of steps which, with handrail, night lights and creeping ivy, clearly identify THE entry doorway.

to illustrate improved entryway treatment
Improved entryway treatment with decorative elements, raised landing and landscape elements


The improved façade bound scheme with transition providing extension, whereby the entryway, is made noticeable by the addition of projecting planters delimiting two small landings two steps apart extending to the sidewalk with a noticeable landscaped walkway.

to illustrate spatially extended treatment of entryway
Improved entryway treatment with extended landing and landscape elements


The façade bound scheme with a projecting cylindrical awning, whereby the sides of the entryway are treated with concrete block finish, helping one to locate it at a distance.

Noted is the row of light-bearing posts, leading to the entryway from the sidewalk, and adding a ceremonial sense of arrival to the experience of entering.

to illustrate desirable entryway treatment
Most complete entryway treatment involving façade and front yard treatment elements


End words

A certain humanistic conception of “architecture” would define its essence in the meaningful physical, functional and social presence of a building.

The entryway treatments presented here aimed to illustrate the gradual reaching for that state, from a hole in the wall to a spatially articulated and lit up walkway from sidewalk to entryway.


Credit all photographs to Maurice Amiel

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