General Layout

What to Look For

  • Without asking for directions, is it easy to understand where to go and what to do?
  • Without relying on maps or signage, do you have an intuitive sense of how the building is organized?  Are public spaces and rooms organized in a logical and easy to understand sequence?
  • If the building has more than one level, is there a central stair or atrium that helps you get oriented when you emerge from elevators or stairs?
  • How easy is it to wander through the building without being welcomed or challenged?
  • Do members tend to use back doors and obscure entrances not intended for visitors?
  • Can the facility be expanded without destroying existing key features?

Why It Matters

For some shoppers, the only thing worse than being ignored by a salesperson are repeated offers of assistance.  “Just looking,” is the practiced answer.  The stereotype of the man who won’t ask for directions is famous. To varying degrees, we like to control our experience in unfamiliar settings.


A good layout is the framework on which most other aspects of the building hang.  Although site constraints may suggest or even force complexity on a project, simple layouts more easily accommodate change and growth.

Architects refer to the system of corridors, stairs and other ways of moving about within a building as “circulation.  Think of these, along with mechanical and electrical rooms, structure and other basic building components as the skeleton upon which the soft tissue of activity spaces, classrooms and offices are suspended.

Room x Room posts are brief examinations of the nature, purpose and potential of typical spaces used in ministry. The intent is to help users see and consider how each component contributes to (or hinders) the ministry it serves.