A lobby is a space from which one or more other rooms or corridors can be accessed, typically found near the main entrance to a building. It may be used for access, circulation, or as a waiting area, and is derived from the latin ‘lobium’, meaning a covered walk, or portico. A lobby may be referred to as a vestibule, anteroom or foyer.
The word lobby can also be used specifically to refer to a large space adjacent to a legislative chamber where 'lobbying' may take place (that is, attempting to influence members of the legislature).
Approved Document M suggests that an entrance lobby may be used to:
- Limit air infiltration.
- Maintain comfort by controlling drafts.
- Increase security.
- Provide transitional lighting.
It should be designed to allow a wheelchair user (and companion), or a person pushing a pram to move clear of one set of doors before opening the other set. The minimum size therefore is related to the size of the door swing into the lobby.
It should be free from obstructions or distracting reflections, and should be provided with a cleaning mat if rainwater may be transported into the lobby.
Approved Document B refers to a protected lobby, which is a ‘…lobby which is adequately protected from fire in adjoining accommodation by fire-resisting construction’ and a firefighting lobby, which is ‘…a protected lobby providing access from a firefighting stair to the accommodation area and to the associated firefighting lift’.
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