Lobby (room)

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The Burj Al Arab lobby
Opera House of Paris, Palais Garnier's grand salon

A lobby is a room in a building which is used for entry from the outside. Sometimes referred to as a foyer or an entrance hall, it often is a large, vast room or complex of rooms (in a theatre, opera, concert hall, showroom, cinema, etc.) adjacent to the auditorium. It is a repose area for spectators and place of venues, especially used before performance and during intermissions, but also as a place of celebrations or festivities after performance.

Many office buildings, hotels and skyscrapers go to great lengths to decorate their lobbies to create the right impression and convey an image, or "power lobby".[1][2][3]

Since the mid-1980s there has been a growing trend to think of lobbies as more than just ways to get from the door to the elevator, but instead as social spaces and places of commerce.[4][5] Some research has even been done to develop scales to measure lobby atmosphere in order to improve hotel lobby design.[6]

Many places that offer public services, such as a doctor's office, use their lobbies as more of a waiting room for the people waiting for a certain service. In these types of lobbies it is common for there to be comfortable furniture, such as couches and lounge chairs, so that the customer will be able to wait in comfort. Also, there may be television sets, books, and/or magazines to help the customer pass time as they wait to be served.

Supertall skyscrapers can often have one or more of what is known as a sky lobby, which is an intermediate floor where people can change from an express elevator that stops only at the sky lobby to a local elevator which stops at every floor within a segment of the building.

Usually a foyer is a large, specially designed hall, but sometimes it is a corridor surrounding the main hall. It is furnished and big enough to enable spectators to stroll, get together and rest. Foyers are commonly adorned with art works, permanent or temporary exhibitions related to the activity of the institution, and a refreshment room or buffet. Moreover, the foyer can be the main place of some events such as vernissage, meetings with the artists, actors' benefit, etc.

A foyer in a house is usually a small entry area or room by the front door. Other public rooms such as the living room, dining room, and family room typically attach to it, along with any main stairway. It was initially intended as an "airlock", separating the fireplace-heated rooms from the (colder, in winter) front entrance, where cold air infiltration made for cold drafts and low temperatures. It is commonly used for outer garment and umbrella storage for both residents and guests.

The word foyer comes from the French language, meaning "the place where the fire is kept".

See also[edit]