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What are some names for the outside area of a building called, specifically the one leading to its entrance? I know the word "plaza" would come to mind but I'm thinking more of the steps, especially a wide circular-type layout of steps climbing to its entrance.

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    Welcome to EL&U. One of the expectations of Stack Exchange is that you demonstrate the initial research you have attempted on your own. Another is that the question be clear—what steps? Is there a photograph of such a structure you can provide? What is wrong with entrance? Who is your audience: the general public, landscape architects, structural engineers? British, American, or other? Please edit your post to include such information. I would also encourage you to take the site tour and review the help center for additional guidance. – choster May 20 at 18:08
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How about perron? From The Thames and Hudson Dictionary of Art Terms (1984):

perron: a flight of steps, usually double, with a platform and a parapet, forming the approach to an important entrance

From M-W:

perron: an outdoor stairway leading up to a building entrance; also a platform at its top

From Lexico:

perron: An exterior set of steps and a platform at the main entrance to a large building such as a church or mansion.


From Wikipedia:

In architecture, a perron generally refers to an external stairway to a building. Curl notes three more-specific usages: the platform-landing reached by symmetrical flights of steps leading to the piano nobile of a building; the steps themselves; or the platform base of edifices like a market cross.

A perron may be placed in front of the main entrance of a building or house, either as a single stone staircase or pair of such staircases leading up to the entrance and built in the Romanesque or Palladian styles and decorated with arches, balustrades and corbels.

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The general landscaped area in front of a building is called a forecourt:

[Merriam-Webster]
1 : an open court in front of a building

It may or may not contains stairs that lead to the building's entrance.

Wikipedia has a picture of the Bonn station forecourt, among a couple of others:

Bonn station forecourt

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    Someone just downvoted my answer, probably the same random person who downvoted yours and apparently goes around downvoting thoughtful and perfectly reasonable answers without providing any rationale. Much of what happens on ELU makes little sense to me. – Richard Kayser May 21 at 20:00
  • I think that it’s because OP is asking for “the steps, especially wide circular steps climbing to the entrance” but I think forecourt refers to the (as the definition says) “open court in front of a building” So if one were to walk off the street they would walk through the forecourt and then come to the area of interest. – Jim May 21 at 20:11
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    @RichardKayser I never take such things to heart. The answers I give result in an overall net positive, and so long as I feel my answers are at least potentially useful (I wouldn't provide them otherwise), I don't pay that much attention to what happens to them afterwards. – Jason Bassford May 21 at 20:13
  • @Jim My answer addresses the first half of the question (especially since plaza was originally thought of), and also provides an example of a series of steps leading to an entrance. I know the question could have been clarified further, but I thought it was at least a good attempt ;) – Jason Bassford May 21 at 20:14
  • I see. I think the picture you provided is confusing because (at least in my mind) the area the photographer was trying to capture as the forecourt is actually the flat area with the lamp posts and cement benches. The steps in the foreground actually lead onto the forecourt from the street. I also think that the Q could have been worded better to reduce confusion. The use of “plaza” leads to forecourt, but OP then clarified that it’s not plaza but just the steps. Sorry, not trying to be critical, just to think critically about the Q. I am usually in complete agreement with your answers. – Jim May 21 at 20:21

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