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We encounter multiple thresholds in the course of each day. We tend to associate them with passage into buildings or through the rooms of buildings, but residential exterior gateways are typically the first thresholds we encounter as we pass on foot from the public to the more private realm. Gateways often incorporate a modest overhead shelter; a flanking fence, wall, or hedge; and a dedicated walking surface. They may or may not include a gate, depending on their relative privacy or the number of people they are meant to accommodate. Gateways off sidewalks are typically scaled to admit one individual at a time, and they often incorporate gates to help regulate traffic. Gateways off driveways or parking courts tend to be scaled to accommodate several people at once and are frequently unencumbered by gates. Some folks consider such gateways to be outside the purview of architecture, but to me, every element of the built environment is architecture. It all contributes to shaping our experience and reflecting who we are to the greater world. Appropriate transitions A gateway can provide a transition between a bustling sidewalk and a residential front garden, signaling with its design different levels…
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