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Article: Aisle


Physical Characteristics and Width of Aisles

  • Aisles are typically straight and long.
  • Aisles in facilities like theaters and shops are wide enough for 2-3 people to walk comfortably.
  • Factory work area aisles are wide enough for workers to sit or stand while working.
  • Passage aisles are narrow, allowing only one person to pass at a time.
  • Warehouse aisles are at least 8-10 feet wide to fit mechanical loading equipment.
  • Wedding aisles are wide enough for two people to walk comfortably beside each other.

Aisles in Architecture

  • In architecture, an aisle is a wing of a house or a lateral division of a large building.
  • The earliest examples of aisles can be found in the Basilica Ulpia in Rome.
  • In Gothic architecture, the roofs of the aisles are lower than the nave, allowing light to enter through clerestory windows.
  • In Romanesque architecture, the roofs of the aisles are at roughly equal heights to the nave.
  • Some churches in Germany have aisles and nave roofs at the same height, known as Hallenkirchen.
  • Aisles in churches are passageways separated from the nave by colonnades or arcades.
  • Aisles can be categorized as nave-aisles, transept-aisles, and choir-aisles.
  • In Gothic architecture, the aisles' roofs are lower than the nave's roof.
  • In Romanesque architecture, the roofs of the aisles are slightly lower than the nave's roof.
  • Some churches, like St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, have multiple aisles on each side of the nave.

Aisles in Supermarkets and Retail Stores

  • Supermarkets have two types of aisles: food aisles and checkout aisles.
  • Food aisles are where goods are displayed, often with crown end displays for impulse purchases.
  • Checkout aisles contain cash registers and impulse buy items.
  • Retail stores use merchandise aisles to display specific products.
  • Supermarkets and retail stores commonly number aisles and have signs indicating the types of products in each aisle.

Aisles in Stables and Barns

  • Shilton Barn in Oxfordshire, England has three aisles and six bays.
  • Aisled barns have barn doors on the gable end, giving access to the center aisle.
  • The side aisles may be the same widths, making the barn symmetrical.
  • The area between the posts, perpendicular to the aisles, is called bays.
  • Stables have a stable aisle down the center with individual stalls facing the aisle.

Aisles in Vehicles and Safety Considerations

  • The aisle in vehicles is a passageway for passengers to move along.
  • Examples include bus aisles with stairs, tube train aisles with open gangways, and narrow-body aircraft aisles.
  • National and local government regulations require minimum aisle widths in various building types.
  • Inspectors impose fines for blocking or restricting passage in aisles.
  • Insurance companies have safety inspectors to ensure compliance with aisle requirements.
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act sets standards for building access, including aisle width for wheelchair access.
  • Aisles that are too narrow can be considered architectural barriers.

Aisle Data Sources

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