An office building lobby can be more than just a simple pass-through: it can become a functional space that enriches the tenant experience.

With advances in mobile and wireless technology and the strong integration of open space plans, employees and guests are increasingly using the lobby to make personal calls or for small gatherings. “The lobby has been transformed from a space to wait to a space to connect,” says James Jordan, principal at JDJ Architects.

Building managers are now looking at a lobby as an asset, providing tenants with space outside normal working hours for small group gatherings. Well-designed, attractive lobbies also can attract complementary businesses to the building, such as coffee shops and restaurants, adding value for existing tenants and enticing new ones.