My Review: Growing up in the Northeast, I had never given vestibules a second thought, so it was really the previous review that instilled in me a sudden appreciation for this architectural feature. This is such a genius temperature buffer-zone detail, and important as a simple but effective method of increasing the sustainability of a building and reducing heat loss in winter.

Previous Review: So this what I’ve got is abut a pretty large and obvious architectural feature, but it’s definitely something I’ve come to appreciate since coming to Harvard.
As someone from southern California, I was puzzled at first by the prevalence of these secondary entrance in Harvard’s buildings and Harvard Square restaurants. I had never noticed these entrances back at home but quickly, I learned their importance. They’re perfect for zipping up your snow jacket or closing/opening your umbrella upon entering or exiting a building. Because vestibules don’t have any central heating, they’re temperature is about the same as the temperature outside, which means you don’t have to think about putting on your heavy puffy coat when it says 70 deg F on the thermostat.
They also improve energy efficiency, keeping hot and cold air in the building and preventing it from escaping. The additional barrier also keeps street noise out.
All in all, it’s a pretty great architectural cold-weather-specific detail!