Architectural Ponderings

The Door

Though extremely useful and highly loved within an apartment, a door occupies a large surface. The surface that a door uses in the process of opening is a dead space. Can not be occupied with anything else and has to be taken in consideration when calculation circulation routes within the room itself as well as within the house/apartment.

Front doors
• Open outside in public buildings due to safety reasons. Just picture waves of people running out in case of fire. You don’t want any of them to splash on the door in a fit of panic.
• Open outside in blocks of flats due to the same reasons as above.
• In the case of a house which has a much smaller number of people involved the front door opens indoor. The reason is simple. Snow. One Mother’s nature fit and 1 meter (and more in some places) of snow would trap you in the house. This however means that in places where the snow is of no concern the rule might not apply.
• Front door of an apartment opens indoor. Same reason as the first two. In case of fire opening the door in the hallway has the potential of endangering people running for safety.

Doors within the house/apartment
• There is no specific rule of which side to open them to. It is based on the flow and use of the interior space.
• Doors open towards the most interesting and/or largest space of the room. Opening a door towards a wall or a corner is bound to create confusion and traffic jams. Not nice.
• When space allows, doors are placed at a minimum 0.5m away from the nearest wall. This is because otherwise the wall surface behind the door is dead space. If there is enough space it can be used for closets, shelves or other ways of storage. Highly useful when apartments are small to begin with.
• A bedroom with 3 doors better have its own balcony and bathroom otherwise there are 1 to 2 too many. A regular space with 3 or more doors it better be a hallway. And even then, doors are to be used with caution otherwise the side effect will be waste of space and decreased flow.
• The door to the toilet is preferably opened towards the opposite direction from the living room/largest and most used space in the direct vicinity. This is out of the simple reason of privacy or memory issues (Paging Mr. Johnson… Paging Mr. Johnson…).


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