The experience of entering a building influences the way you feel inside the building. If the transition is too abrupt there is no feeling of arrival, and the inside of the building fails to be a sanctum.
While people are on the street, they adopt a style of "street behavior." When they come into a house they naturally want to get rid of this street behavior and settle down completely into the more intimate spirit appropriate to a house. But it seems likely that they cannot do this unless there is a transition from one to the other which helps them to lose the street behavior. The transition must, in effect, destroy the momentum of the closedness, tension and "distance" which are appropriate to street behavior, before people can relax completely.
Evidence comes from the report by Robert Weiss and Serge Bouterline, Fairs, Exhibits, Pavilions, and their Audiences,Cambridge, Mass., 1962. The authors noticed that many exhibits failed to "hold" people; people drifted in and then drifted out again within a very short time. However, in one exhibit people had to cross a huge, deep-pile, bright orange carpet on the way in. In this case, though the exhibit was no better than other exhibits, people stayed. The authors concluded that people were, in general, under the influence of their own "street and crowd behavior," and that while under this influence could not relax enough to make contact with the exhibits. But the bright carpet presented them with such a strong contrast as they walked in, that it broke the effect of their outside behavior, in effect "wiped them clean," with the result that they could then get absorbed in the exhibit.
-- From Enumerable.com
This image is from the lobby of XPLANE's new St. Louis office.
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