Some very important things about a public building, actually any building, is what the person sees and feels when entering and leaving. It is the arrangement of the physical things rather than any additional cost, beyond their functional necessity, which is critical for pleasurable feelings.
For example, when leaving the building it costs nothing to orient the departing area, the foyer, in a way that for several steps toward the open door or when opening the door the person faces out onto a beautiful scene. They should feel like they are walking into the most beautiful scene imaginable. They might be heading out to their car in the parking lot, or to a waiting bus, but these vehicles can be out of sight, at the moment of opening the door. These necessities are set to the side of the beautiful scene. A decorative fish pond might be in the middle ground and a small wilderness just beyond the pond with distant mountains visible over the lower bushes and between the trees a little beyond the pond. If any human artifact is visible it could be a single small bench suitable for only one or two people with a barely perceptible rustic gravel path leading to it, from the side.
The staircase can go forward and to the side and a ramp with handrails would be to either side of the door and just out of sight. The placing of these important things needed for creating a wonderful feeling would cost nothing; it’s just a question of arrangement of the visible things as you move through and out of the building.
We need a parking lot, and the parking spaces and other necessities that need to be as close as possible, but the function of the building is to create a sense of community, and of every person wanting to be there in this space at this time. It’s a place of warmth, welcoming and belonging and companionship. This is a place of calmness with myriad opportunities for unique semi-private nooks which by their artistic ambiance stimulate serenity, a place of calm, a place of natural beauty and human harmony.
With every item within and without the building the architect should ask,
“Does this item improve the serene feeling of wanting to be here?”