Having an accessible building is of utmost importance to many businesses. Whether the building is host to a hospitality venture or is used to hold business meetings, it is essential that all feel welcome and comfortable within the building.

It’s a common misconception that a truly accessible and practical building will lose out on style and luxury. But you don’t need to sacrifice the luxury aesthetic of your building in order to also make it a welcoming and accessible atmosphere – and having an accessible building is incredibly important.

Give your building a luxury lift

Passenger lifts are incredibly important for any business building – unless it’s all on one level. However it isn’t quite as simple as just having a lift in place. It has to follow certain guidelines in order to truly be accessible. For instance the buttons also need to have braille on them and it must be an appropriate size in which to fit a wheelchair.

It isn’t difficult to follow these recommendations and to also create a stunning lift. Using glass lifts can help to emphasise the open feeling of a glass or open plan building and makes the most of natural light. Alternatively you can have a custom designed lift with real wood panelling for a classic look or chrome for a futuristic luxury feel. There are so many options when it comes to elevators that, as long as you have the budget, you can have something customised to your aesthetic.

Reception area

Design can be stylish and practical

When designing the interiors of your building it’s important to take into account how design choices may affect someone with visual impairments. One important recommendation is to ensure light falls evenly in your building to avoid creating spaces that are overly bright and contrast with dark, shady sections of the building – it’s also better not have surfaces that are too reflective so as not to cause glare.

Visual contrast is also incredibly important. Different colours can convey different moods inside your business so colour usage is important for the experience of those visiting your building. For example blue can create feelings of calm and productivity, making it a great choice for building in which people are working.

You can help people with visual impairments move more easily by using a contrasted colour palette. This makes it easier to distinguish between walls and ceiling or door backgrounds and fittings, as well as highlighting hazards around the building.

Use a variety of seating options in your lobby or reception

Different people will require different seating options in your reception, lobby or waiting room. Some may need arm rests, some may find them a hindrance, for example. To best provide for those visiting your building it is best to have a combination of seating options. They should be varied in heights, alongside having armrest options and a variety of backs.

As well as being practical this can provide a design element to your building, whether they are clustered together as a centerpiece to a room spread around the outside of the room. It can be a striking look that will provide added comfort to everyone who enters your building.

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