Pedestrian gates control the entry and exit to a certain area, primarily restricting access to private or authorised parties and acting as a means for foot traffic to pass in and out of the area. Pedestrian gates exist to fulfil many functions, whether allowing safer and quicker access for pedestrians in and out of a venue, acting as a security point, or private access for owners to enter and exit their properties on foot, the list goes on.
While it is important to consider the functionality of a pedestrian gate, the look and feel of the gate needs to match its purpose, and in many cases, aesthetics should be considered. Pedestrian gates serve a different function compared to large motor gates, but in the same way, they are visible from the inside and outside of the property, and in most cases for private structures, need to fit into the look and feel of the property.
For example, if a homeowner has a bespoke driveway gate featuring decorative steel designs, they are likely going to seek a pedestrian gate that matches that aesthetic.
In this quick read, we will be covering some useful design tips to help homeowners decide on the ideal pedestrian gates to match their needs.
Exploring The Impact Of Aesthetics On Pedestrian Gates
Aesthetics are the perfect way to ensure the gate blends in seamlessly with the surrounding area or fits in with the architecture, or creates a striking contrast. Pedestrian gates can be transformed from simple, functional structures to visually appealing focal points using different design elements, materials, finishes and styles.
A pedestrian gate sets the tone and personality of the entrance and makes a statement about the property, along with the driveway gate. In this case, first impressions count. You can choose to have a neat, minimalistic pedestrian gate or an intricate, eye-catching one, it all depends on your style and the style of your property.
Maximising Functionality In The Design Of Pedestrian Gates
There are several key considerations to keep in mind when it comes to maximising functionality in gate design, they are as follows:
1. Accessibility: Especially in public spaces, the gate needs to be designed in a way that makes it user-friendly for all, and provides an easy entrance and exit for people with disabilities. This could mean having wider openings to accommodate the width of a wheelchair and appropriate handle heights.
2. Safety and Security: Safety features are of utmost importance for those behind the security gate. Incorporating self-closing mechanisms, robust locking systems, or biometric readers are just a few ways to manage entry and exit safely and efficiently.
3. Durability and Weather Resistance: Just like driveway gates, pedestrian gates are more often than not outside, or exposed to the elements and need to be able to withstand various weather conditions. Materials like stainless steel, galvanised steel and aluminium are popular material choices as they are resistant to corrosion and rust, meaning they look good for longer. Adding durable coatings or finishes to the gate gives it a nice look and works to prolong its lifespan even further.
4. Useability: Pedestrian gates exist to make entry and exit easy on foot, which is why user comfort and convenience should be a top priority. It is important to ensure smooth and easy operation, avoiding unnecessary physical strain that makes it difficult to use. Handles, hinges and locks need to be easy to hold and use for all ages and abilities, otherwise, the pedestrian gate risks losing much of its purpose.
5. Integrating technology: Technological advances continue to make life easier and enhance functionality. Technology can be integrated into pedestrian gates to enhance functionality. This could include features such as remote control operation, biometrics, camera system integration, motion sensors and more, for maximum efficiency and safety.
6. Clear Signage and Wayfinding: Incorporate clear and visible signage to guide pedestrians effectively. Use signage to indicate entry and exit points, hours of operation, emergency exits, and any relevant safety information. Consider incorporating braille or tactile signage for individuals with visual impairments.
This applies more specifically to pedestrian gates utilised by the public, where signage becomes necessary. Signage is important to indicate entry and exit points, hours of operation, emergency or after-hours contact numbers and other relevant information. Signage is not always aesthetically pleasing to the eye, but very necessary, and can easily and creatively be incorporated to serve their specific function without hurting the visual appeal of the gate.
7. Smooth Traffic Flow: Gate designers need to consider the amount of foot traffic in order to facilitate the smooth flow of pedestrians. The number of people using the gate should determine the width, number of lanes, and the placement of entry and exit points in order to prevent congestion and allow for the smooth flow of traffic.
8. Maintenance and Serviceability: Gate designs can be customised and made aesthetically pleasing, but careful consideration needs to be given to future maintenance in mind, incorporating features that make future repairs, cleaning, and replacements of parts easy and accessible.
9. Compliance with Regulations: All building elements or additions need to comply with building codes, safety regulations, and accessibility standards that relate to height, gate width, fire safety, emergency egress, and other regulations. These factors and regulations need to be considered during the design process of the gate, as well as in the installation and location.
By considering the above principles, you can maximise the functionality of your pedestrian gate, creating safe, accessible, and user-friendly environments for pedestrians that are also eye-catching, aesthetically pleasing and a suitable representation of your property or premises.
Harmonising Aesthetics And Functionality
Harmonising aesthetics and functionality is a crucial part of any design, pedestrian gates included. Balancing the visual appeal of the gate with its practicality ensures that it not only enhances the overall look and feel of the surrounding environment but also, more importantly, serves its function efficiently. Here are some key considerations when working with aesthetics and functionality together in pedestrian gate design:
Design Integration: Pedestrian gates should work with the existing design elements around them, taking note of the overall style and design language of the surrounding area, including the colours and finishes used. A pedestrian gate should fit in to serve its purpose but also fit in with the architecture around it and enhance the visual appeal of the space.
Material Selection: Choose materials that ensure durability and functionality whilst also adding aesthetic value. Incorporate materials that add visual interest and texture, while still meeting the required strength and security standards, these include wrought iron, stainless steel, aluminium, glass, or wood.
Ornamental Details: Ornaments or decorative elements are some of the most popular ways to add to the aesthetics of a gate. These can include patterns, motifs, filigree work, or customised designs that reflect or are inspired by the architectural style of the surroundings and existing design. It is however important that the decorative elements don’t compromise the functionality.
Transparency and Visibility: In some cases, you may consider incorporating elements that provide transparency and visibility through the gate. This can be done using materials that include glass or perforated metals, that allow visibility as well as add a modern and open feel to the design. Transparency can also enhance security by allowing better visibility for surveillance purposes.
Lighting: Proper lighting can greatly enhance the aesthetics of a pedestrian gate while ensuring safety and visibility during nighttime hours. The placement of lighting fixtures can be used strategically to highlight architectural details as well as guide pedestrians, balancing aesthetics and functionality.
User Experience: The pedestrian gates design should prioritise user experience and ensure ease of operation for pedestrians. Smooth opening and closing mechanisms, accessible handles and access control systems that blend seamlessly into the overall design make for a visually appealing yet functional gate.
Sustainable Design: Consider using eco-friendly materials and energy-efficient lighting options, especially in South Africa due to high rates and load shedding. Sustainable elements can contribute to the overall environmental harmony of the gate and surrounding natural aesthetics.
Maintenance and Longevity: Aesthetics and functionality should be balanced, to ensure that the gate looks good and works well. The aesthetics should not compromise longevity and should utilise materials that are long-lasting, and resistant to corrosion and weathering whilst still looking aesthetically pleasing. It is easy to overcomplicate things for the sake of design, which is why careful consideration needs to go into the functionality and maintenance aspects for easy repair, and minimal downtime and cost.
Glow Innovations offers a range of pedestrian gates for residential and commercial properties, as well as driveway gates and fencing designed to provide safety and security and privacy, and can also enhance the aesthetic appeal of the property with some customisation and creativity.
Glow Innovations’ pedestrian gates are made from high-quality steel and are available in a range of styles, designs, and colours to suit the specific needs and preferences of our clients. We take pride in offering customised solutions, allowing our clients to create unique designs to make their entrances amazing.