Have you ever walked into a public building and been processed by the receptionist as if you were a package?


Arrange a series of welcoming things immediately inside the entrance—soft chairs, a fireplace, food, coffee. Place the reception desk so that it is not between the receptionist and the welcoming area, but to one side at an angle—so that she, or he, can get up and walk toward the people who come in, greet them, and then invite them to sit down.

… in a public building, or an office where there are many people coming in, Self-Governing Workshops and Offices (80), Small Services Without Red Tape (81), Traveler’s Inn (91), Flexible Office Space (146) - the place inside the Entrance Room (130) plays an essential role; it must be built from the very start with the right atmosphere. This pattern was originally proposed by Clyde Dorsett of the National Institute of Mental Health, in a program for community mental health clinics.

Place the fireplace most carefully, to be a focus - The Fire (181) give the receptionist a workspace where she can be comfortable in her own work, and still make visitors feel welcome Workspace Enclosure (183); give the space Light on Two Sides of Every Room (159); perhaps put in an alcove or a window seat for people who are waiting - A Place to Wait (150), Alcoves (179), Window Place (180). Make sure that the reception point itself is lighter than surrounding areas - Tapestry of Light and Dark (135). And for the shape of the reception space start with The Shape of Indoor Space (191)

Reference for full-text of Pattern: p. 705low-confidence