As semi-public interaction zones, entrance lobbies provide an area where a building’s visitors can conduct informal business with a company, and also act as the primary channel between its ‘public’ and ‘private’ zones. It is vital to accommodate concentric layers of security to demonstrate to visitors and staff that a clear line of defence is being enforced.
Before considering the levels of security a building requires, it is crucial to understand and identify all vulnerabilities that could be exploited to gain unauthorised access to the building. We obtain this information early in the design process by conducting a concise review of the envisaged spatial arrangement, building topology, crime threat levels and envisaged occupant routes and flow levels. From this review of the client’s operational requirements and knowledge of the industry’s best practices and guidelines, we produce a detailed Security Vulnerability Assessment (SVA) that identifies potential security threats and suggests measures that can be taken to reduce them.
For smaller buildings, entrance control can be achieved by accommodating levels of ‘active’ surveillance, electronic access control and voice communication technologies at perimeter access points. For larger, multi-tenant commercial developments, these enhancements can extend to the inclusion and deployment of optical turnstile systems.
Due to their low profile design, turnstiles provide an open atmosphere whilst also implementing a high level of control. In addition to creating a physical barrier to inhibit unauthorised access, when combined with a manned security presence turnstiles can also provide a single choke point that limits ‘tailgating’ opportunities and enables enhanced screenings during periods of heightened alert, or at events that require increased security.
Whilst providing ‘active’ electronic security enhancements, we also accommodate ‘passive’ security within a lobby’s design through the application of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) techniques which can drastically enhance lobby security. Examples of its use range from ensuring the correct orientation of reception desks to elevate key sight lines and maximise natural surveillance, to ensuring adequate rest-room facilities are accessible within ‘semi-public’ zones, preventing the need for visitors to enter restricted areas.
With these considerations in mind, we ensure that appropriate consideration is given to both ‘passive’ and ‘active’ security enhancements without compromising the aesthetic appearance, architectural vision and overall visitor experience of the space.