“Our experience of an architectural space is strongly influenced by how we arrive in it.…”
Architect and author Matthew Frederick is writing principally about finding one’s way into and around built spaces. He explains, “A tall, bright space will feel taller and brighter if counterpointed by a low-ceilinged, softly lit space. A monumental or sacred space will feel more signiﬁcant when placed at the end of a sequence of lesser spaces.…”
This arrival process—the ways in which guests proceed from a river road to a parking cut-in, past a new arrival kiosk, down toward the new reception desk, and eventually on to their rooms—is an important part of the overall renovation. During a recent trip to the Lodge, we continued our consideration of the arrival and wayfinding signs and lighting we have in place.
Each of us has visited places where a preponderance of signs prevents any sense of expectation or unfolding mystery. Our aim is different: we want to heighten guests’ anticipation—and even invite a little serendipitous discovery—by scaling back the types and number of signs around the Lodge.
To decide what stays and what goes, we’re asking lots of questions. “What’s the least we have to spell out for guests?” “What can be intuited rather than told?” “Can this be discovered instead of described?” “Is accessibility increased or hindered here?” “What about the first-time guest who arrives well after sundown?”
A well-marked, well-lit entry path creates a sense of invitation and guides guests where they need to go in a way that satisfies more than any sign can.