Best practi​​ces for active building facesPrint

​​​​​​​​As mentioned in the previous section on navigation and wayfinding, building facades play an important role in guiding people through a public space. In addition, they can also help to increase activity, as well as passive surveillance.​​​​​
Dynam​​ic street l​​evel​​

  • Make it clear how to navigate the building. Entrances and exits should be easily seen from the street, while users inside should clearly find the lobby and direct routes to stairs and lifts.
  • The design should define the boundaries between public and private areas around the property.
  • Activities that spill between the building and the street, such as cafes or restaurants, help to activate the area.
  • Use a lot of windows or doors on the ground floor to increase visual connection between inside and outside the building. This applies to all building types, but shop windows are particularly effective. In all situations, minimise blank walls at street level. 

​Increase visibility into public spaces​
Street-facing windows are great for people-watching and increase opportunities for passive surveillance. 
  • Install plenty of windows that face the street or public areas, especially in residential or workspaces. Window size and placement should optimise these views.
  • Front porches and balconies can be used to a similar effect. 
  • Walls and fences at the street edge should have sufficient transparency or be 1.2m high or less to allow for clear visibility between the two sides.
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