I’m looking for some ideas to help a designer with the gates in the sketches below.  Here’s the scenario:

The gates lead to/from an area of a children’s museum designed for young kids, and the museum is looking for a way to limit access to the area so that only parents can enter with younger children.  Children over 6 without their parents should not be able to enter easily – they need a way to discourage them while still allowing parents to enter.  The initial request from the designer was a latch similar to the pull-up mechanism used on pool gates.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • Panic hardware is required for egress from this space.
  • Two leaves are require for egress, and there’s a possibility of adding a leaf just for ingress, if it’s not possible to come up with a solution that only involves the two leaves that are being used for egress.
  • The gates are part of an accessible route.
  • At least one leaf will probably have an automatic operator.
  • Although the gates are shown with a gap between the bottom of the gate and the floor, the gates could extend to the floor to allow a floor closer / in-floor auto operator to be used.
  • One sketch shows a double-acting gate, but I’ve advised the designer against that.

Questions for you:

  • How would you allow parents to easily release the panic hardware from the pull side, while discouraging older kids from entering this area?
  • What hardware would you use to hang the gate?
  • What type of closer and operator would you use?
  • How would you stop the door in the fully-open position?

Gate Sketch Gate Sketch Gate Sketch

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