Architect's Toolbox: Vestibules Remake an Entrance

In days gone by, when houses were difficult to warm, an air rifle was made between the outside and the inside of the home. This air rifle, or vestibule, served to control heat loss through the front door and had the added advantage of providing more control over who can enter your home. Typically small and functional, a vestibule occasionally included a coat closet, a location for umbrellas and also a place to gather the email.

Nevertheless vestibules also served more than those simply utilitarian needs. They allowed us to shift involving the great, vast and scaleless outdoors to the secure, comfortable and intimate scale of the interior. These chambers eased the transition between the general public and private domains of our lives.

In the 1950s and 1960s, as heating systems enhanced, we ceased building vestibules as these rooms were no longer worth the cost. However, in giving up about the vestibule we gave up on the idea of making a distinctive and gradual transition from outside to inside. Now so many houses are made with no transition, resulting in what frequently is a jarringly uneasy encounter when you walk through the door.

So let’s bring back that transition so we can facilitate our way out of one realm to another.

LDa Interiors & Architecture

The traditional old-house vestibule at a new home: a door between outside and inside, and a door between the vestibule and the front hall. The space of the vestibule is compressed and tight, making the space of their home all the more volatile and impressive.

Diana Abrashkin AIA

Vestibules were frequently built outside the wall of the home and were also a device for creating a human scale as you approached the front door.

2D3D Design, INC

What’s your front door? This vestibule functions to transition out of the common areas of the building to the private attic space. Certainly, the more important front door is your interior door from the vestibule into the attic.

Colleen Brett

Are vestibules inside spaces, outside spaces or both at precisely the exact same time? Bringing some of the stuff and colours from the outside into the vestibule blurs the lines between inside and outside.

LDa Interiors & Architecture

Large doors open the vestibule into the stair hall when not shut. The scale of those double doors and opening provides a relationship between the bigger scale of the vestibule and bigger scale of the stair hall.

Brian Watford Interiors

Away to the side and forcing a set of turns to enter or leave the space, this entryway is not shut off with another door. Large windows bring sunlight. And the window chair makes the vestibule all the operational.

Schrader & Companies

A vestibule-like entrance can be produced at a home that’s tight on space. A couple specifying columns, maybe a built in seat and a reduced ceiling create the transition area that eases the movement from outside to inside.

Hufft Projects

Conventional approaches aren’t the only alternatives. Changes in flooring material and ceiling height, plus a screen wall, make that subtle but clearly defined transition space.

CARIB DANIEL MARTIN design and architecture llc

And just as conventional designs may have a vestibule-like transition area on the outside, so too can contemporary layouts.

More Architect’s Toolbox: Scale and Proportion

Decorating Around an Open Entryway

Keys into a Fashionable Entrance

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