And you thought a door was just a door

flippaneldoor2

I am fascinated by this innovative Evolution Door designed by Austrian artist Klemens Torggler. Two folding squares use no track and take up no floor space. They have soft edges, so there will be no pinched fingers. And yet it’s a door. Running kids and pets might have trouble with this, either unable to open it or tearing right through it (looks like fabric panels to me). Flimsy, perhaps, but still intriguing.

(I don’t know if it’s the floor, some really weird boots, or both, but that crunchy sound when he walks drives me crazy.)

Torggler has also designed a door using two rotating steel plates. Equally fascinating, but maybe not as safe. I can see this one in some upcoming sci fi movie.

And of course he’s designed a substitute for my sliding glass patio door, but I doubt the dog could wait for me to get it open. Nor does it look particularly weathertight. And do you see any locks? It might slow burglars, though, as they try to figure out how to open it.

(May 31, 2015: It appears the video of Torggler’s exterior glass (plexiglass?) door, which I had posted here, has disappeared completely from the internet. I did, however, find a photo of it.)

Torggler's glass door

 

And here’s a GIF:

torggler



Categories: art/design, Society, video content

16 replies

  1. Very clever designs, but your notes on potential flaws are well made.

  2. Definitely innovative, but as you noted not sure how practical.

  3. Verrrrry interesting. Will be watching for these to appear one day at a home show or other display spot where we can try them out. Put me down as a potential buyer if work is done to minimize or eliminate the problems.

    • They might work better as something like privacy screens (eg, shoji screens), room dividers, or shutters, rather than doors that are used often and opened quickly. Or on a smaller scale, maybe as cabinet doors. Surely there are practical applications for such ingenious mechanisms.

  4. The principal advantage of this design is that it conserves space, much the same way as a sliding door. But this door has an esthetic quality that sliding doors don’t, and it’s counterbalanced so there’s less effort involved in operation. A lock/latch could easily be made by securing the two bars to one another, and the bars themselves could be made more pleasing to the eye by making them of strong transparent plastics which do come with high tensile strength. I think this has excellent potential in a future where space is increasingly scarce. Right now I’m thinking a good application would be the bathroom door in one of those tiny, super-efficient NYC apartments.

    • I had a lot of sliding pocket doors put in when I built my little house in OKC. I’m a huge fan of their space saving qualities, and they have the added advantage of disappearing into the wall when open. They don’t cover an adjacent wall like these and other doors do. Of course, they do need to be included when the house is built. Otherwise installation requires ripping out a wall.

      I still think this glass/plastic door would need some kind of weatherstripping to be a practical door to the outside, except maybe in very mild climates. I’m also not sure how secure it would be with only two attachment points. Seems to me a strong kick could dislodge it, especially if a lock only secured the bars to each other instead of adding a third attachment to the wall.

      • Good points. I went back and looked again at how it works. The setup the inventor has lacks any receiver at the left side when the door (either the metal or glass one) is closed, but it seems to me that one could build a receiving framework on the left similar to that for a sliding glass door, including gasket, and that would work at both top and bottom as well. This would also solve the strength problem. However, I’m not sure how to provide a good gasket seal on the right, as seen in the demo. I think that’s the weak point.

        As for pocket doors, I understand their main disadvantage is that if there’s a problem with the supporting rail you may have to tear the wall up to repair it.

        • Yes, gaskets like you describe would certainly help. But they still wouldn’t solve the problem of drafts between the two pieces of glass. I don’t see a solution to that.

          All I can say about pocket doors is they served me very well in the places I used them, and in the 10 years I was in that house I never had a problem with them. But yes, any problem with the part of the rail inside the wall and you’d have no option but to tear up the wall. I used them in locations that didn’t require a lot of opening and closing — 2 entrances to laundry room/back door, one between dining area and hall, and one that closed off bedroom wing from the rest of the house (this one was closed when son was away so I didn’t have to heat/cool 1/3 of the house; the others were usually left open).

  5. Cool, freaky and probably very expensive. Somehow, I can’t imagine myself trying to open this door while my arms are laden with grocery sacks. Can’t use the list foot kick or hip bump with it either. And yeah, my dog would crash through that door long before it actually opened.

  6. This is so cool to watch – mesmerizing….but maybe not going to be really popular items for regular people

  7. Dropped over from GabbyGeezers place….

    I’m with you 100% on the shoe thing although it sounds like to me he has covered his floor with some type of mini-bubble wrap to protect his hardwood floors.

    As to the doors, interesting and certainly a conversation piece but I question the practicability. I think your room divider thought has merit personally. Several panels working in unison would certainly make a classy room partition for those board meetings… 🙂

    • Hi, Alan. Welcome to my place.

      There’s a shot somewhere, maybe in one of the videos, that shows a closer view of the wood parquet floor below and beyond the door. Looks like all the little pieces are coming loose, and I assume that explains the noise. He needs to fix his floor!

      Ah, board meetings. A contemporary office would be the perfect place for doors like this. They might even incorporate foam cores or something that would help muffle sound. I can picture this is a tech-related office like Google or Microsoft.

"Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance." ~ Plato

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