How to Break the Rules That Limit Your Designs

Claim Your Design Freedom

It sounds like a dream — the ability to design whatever comes to mind without worrying about the execution. It seems too good to be true and perhaps, in some cases, it is. There are simply too many rules - spoken and unspoken - that architecture and design have to obey. However, in some situations, you can take back your design freedom by utilizing smart solutions that already exist but may be little-known. This is especially true for the architecture and design of doors.

Psychological Doors

Doors play an important role in the perception of a space. Inside a building, doors create spaces beyond what is visible. A wall without a door is just a wall, without any hint of something more. A wall with a door, though, enlarges the entire building by allowing the mind to wander as to what's behind that door.

Doors With More

Aside from the psychological effects of doors, they also offer limitless design possibilities. A door and its design can positively influence the atmosphere of a space or a building, therefore designers and architects should not take it lightly. For example, an entry is often the first tangible element of a building that people will encounter, a first impression that sets the tone for the rest of the interior.

When making a design statement with a door, a standard hinged door falls flat. The next step to add some visual and experiential interest, then, is often a pivot door. A pivot door rotates on a vertical axis, determined by the pivot hinge and top pivot placement. The vertical axis creates a freely rotating canvas that adds interesting movement to the door. Adding this extra movement into your design creates an experience instead of simply a passage.

Moreover, pivot doors with the right hardware can accommodate nearly any door measurements and handle the weight of a heavy door as well, giving you enhanced design freedom. However, the pivot hinge itself can unfortunately create some trouble too.

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Statement interior pivot door from perforated steel. By Studio Tamat, with FritsJurgens System M pivot hinge. Image © FritsJurgens

"A pivot door is too difficult and expensive."

The installation process of an in-floor pivot hinge system can hinder a job site's progress. The installation of an in-floor pivot hinge is expensive and takes several days, often requiring adjusting and re-adjusting the design. Special precautions have to be taken for the floor in an early stage of the build, adjusting the position of the door is impossible, and last but definitely not least: they require a visually-obtrusive cover plate.

Take Charge of the Rules

Don't give up on the pivot door just yet, though. A Dutch company, FritsJurgens, has created various pivot hinges that solve these common issues. In addition to easy installation, these hinges make unlimited door heights possible and carry doors weighing up to 500 kg (over 1,100 lbs). This is accomplished with a pivot hinge that is placed not in the floor, but in the door itself, a crucial switch that makes all the difference.

When applying a FritsJurgens pivot hinge, the only components installed in the floor are 8mm-long pins to hold the small floor plate in place. This inconspicuous plate replaces the traditional cover plate of an in-floor closer. The pivot hinge, hidden inside the bottom of the door, then rests on the floor plate. Installing the floor plate, the ceiling plate, and the door is all completed after the final floor is in place and installation takes only thirty minutes, saving significant time and money compared to traditional pivot door systems.

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© FritsJurgens

No Compromises

These pivot hinges by FritsJurgens can be installed in both new and existing conditions without opening up the floor. No special precautions have to be taken. Even in-floor heating is not an issue, thanks to the short pins of the floor plate. Furthermore, the floor plate will not disrupt or distract from your design. The floor plates are available in multiple designs, all of them small and also scratch-resistant. Most importantly, these hinges give you back your design freedom.

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A FritsJurgens floor plate. These are available in various shapes and colors.. Image © FritsJurgens
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A stainless steel FritsJurgens floor plate under a pivot door. The pivot hinge is hidden in the wooden door frame, on top of the floor plate.. Image © FritsJurgens

The FritsJurgens System M+

FritsJurgens pivot hinges are available in four ranges: System One, System 3, and System M all have their own unique features. Then last year, FritsJurgens launched System M+, a pivot hinge system that adds a new level of adjustability to the existing System M range known for this feature. The M+ hinge completely controls the pivot door's movement, regardless of its height and weight; it can carry doors weighing up to 500 kg and accommodate unlimited door heights.

The movement of every pivot hinge in the System M and M+ ranges can easily be adjusted at the bottom of the pivot door any time, even after the door has been installed. Discover more about the installation process of a FritsJurgens pivot hinge and its adjustability here.

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© FritsJurgens

Go Big or Go Home

The main benefit of FritsJurgens' hinges is the design freedom they allow. Anything is possible in terms of material, from wood to metal to marble, creating any type of design statement. There are examples of pivot doors of over 7 meters tall, weighing 500 kg, and still moving smoothly thanks to hydraulic technologies.

In most cases, the execution of your design will cause you several headaches - that's often the cost of rigorously realizing your vision. Your door designs, however, don't need to. The unspoken rules of door design are being dismissed, all you have to do now is find the smart solutions already out there waiting for you.

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Cite: "How to Break the Rules That Limit Your Designs" 06 Apr 2021. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884
Pivoting entrance door by Gavin Maddock with a FritsJurgens System M pivot hinge. Image © FritsJurgens


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