A single, continuous line unbroken by handle rotation: such was the simple, yet difficult-to-execute design concept motivating Zaha Hadid Design’s new innovative door handle. The result is a beautifully molded sculptural yet ergonomic design, playfully balancing form with function.
For their recent partnership with the architectural ironmongery specialist izé, Zaha Hadid Design (ZHD) conceived of this new handle, titled NEXXA. The project was directed by Woody Yao and Maha Kutay, leading the design team of Johanna Huang, Michele Pasca di Magliano, Muhammed Shameel. According to the firm, the concept stemmed from an exploration into the function of the traditional door handle, “as a means of transitioning from one space to the next.” Visualizing the effortless sense of gesture and transition encapsulated in this simple movement, NEXXA embodies and prolongs the action of the handle rotation, creating a sculptural refinement beyond the realm of the functional.
To achieve this result, ZHD combined the traditional assembly of handle parts into a single integrated whole. A ball-and-socket joint visually merges the lever and the plate together, revealed within a smooth cavity when the handle is rotated. This design choice envisions a seamless movement in space, no matter how the handle is rotated, but it is also crucial to minimizing the functional friction of the handle.
According to Maha Kutay, co-director of ZHD, “3D printers allowed us to experiment with form and made it easier and quicker for us to refine the design, to make it more ergonomic. We were working with izé’s sculptor and model maker throughout the process and this back and forth was incredibly productive.” In NEXXA’s design, the door handle bridges sculpture and instrument.
The NEXXA is available in six variations of color and finish. Though all are made of brass, the options include: satin-matte black, polished black chrome, matt powder-coated white, polished nickel-plated, satin nickel-plated, and satin rose gold—the latter of which is unique to ZHD within the izé portfolio.
A beautifully gestural articulation of a simple functional movement.