Defining the entrance Print

Design Outcome

Desi​gn Checklist

  1. Entrances contribute positively to the streetscape and building facade design
  2. Entrances provide functional and safe common areas.


A building’s entrance is the threshold between the exterior and interior, it contributes to the overall identity of the development and plays an important role in the impression and experience formed by visitors. An entrance may lead into a common entry foyer, directly into the private space of an apartment, or into a retail/commercial tenancy.

Entrances should be considered as part of an entry sequence, this is the experience of visiting the site, from the point of entry onto the site, to the reaching of the destination within the site.


Better Design Practice

Provide each different use within a building with its own entrance, and make public and private entrances separate and distinguishable.

To avoid conflict provide separate entries, especially from the street, for:
  • pedestrians and vehicles.
  • different uses (residential and commercial uses).
  • ground floor units, where applicable.
  • recycling, waste collection and removal services.

When designing street entries, improve the presentation of the building by:
  • locating entries so that they relate to the existing street and subdivision pattern, street tree planting and pedestrian access network.
  • making the entry a clearly identifiable building element.
  • using multiple entries (i.e. main entry plus private ground floor apartment entries) to animate the street edge and create a rhythm of openings along the street.
  • ensuring that the entrance space is of an appropriate size and scale for the building.

Ensure equal access for all.​

Refer to the ADM’s Universal Design Hub for guidance on providing access for people of all ages and abilities.

Provide safe and secure access by:
  • avoiding the creation of blind spots and hiding spaces near entrances
  • providing a direct physical and visual connection between the street and the building’s entrance
  • providing a clear line of sight from one circulation space to the next
  • providing sheltered, well-lit and highly visible spaces in which to enter the building, meet visitors and collect mail.

Ensure that entries and associated circulation spaces are of an adequate size to allow movement of furniture.​

​Make mailboxes safe and convenient for residents and ensure that they do not clutter the appearance of the development from the street by:
  • locating them adjacent to the major entrance and integrating them into a wall
  • setting them at 90 degrees to the street, rather than facing it
  • allowing mail to be picked up from a common collection area
  • making the public side of mailboxes vandal-resistant.

Provide clearly visible orientation signage that is in character with the building and wider context.​

Rules of Thumb

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