Contemporary Glass Structures was selected to manufacture and install an ‘invisible door’ into a 4th-floor terrace glass façade as part of extensive renovations of a commercial office building in the heart of Manchester’s professional district.
The main contractor approached Contemporary which specialises in frameless structural glass products to see if they could produce this type of door.
Andy Howells of Contemporary commented “The client wanted the door to almost disappear within the glass façade externally. The contractor’s curtain wall supplier could only do a standard framed door, not what the architect and client wanted.”
Drawing on their experience in the fenestration industry Contemporary offered a bespoke solution and specified the Kestrel Aluminium residential door system as the base for the project.
The geometry of the door hinges gave the best external glass to glass gap at the hinge position without the glass on the door leaf clashing with the glass which is silicone bonded to the outside of the outer frame. Also, the slim minimalistic design of the hinges worked well with the aesthetics of the design, meaning they sat in line or just behind the outer glass surface line.
The robust sturdy nature of the PAS 24 accredited Kestrel door with its double mechanical spring cleats to each mitre joint also gave the team the confidence to attempt this design for this size of door which at 1200mm wide x 2600mm high weighed nearly 100 kg.
Contemporary installed a door closer to stop the outwardly opening door from catching in the wind and opening too far (past 110°) which would cause the glass to clash and destruct. A stainless-steel boss was machined to space the external handle mounting face away from the door by 14mm to allow for the thickness of the external stepped glass and the silicone bond.
The door frame was powder coated with a special, not readily available TIGER Drylac® colour. The glass specified was Guardian Glass HD20 “made to order” product. Contemporary worked closely with their specialist suppliers to meet the specification and match the building’s glass façade, whilst completing the installation within the construction schedule.
Andy Howells commented, “the client is delighted with the final result, it has been a challenging but well worthwhile project.”
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