ASSA ABLOY presents: Applying Good Design Across All Opening Applications
Interior designers play an outsized role in transforming the built environment from ordinary into something extraordinary. But what would buildings look like if limits were placed on a designer’s creativity?
Imagine if designers were told by building product manufacturers they had to work with only standard products with no variations. Consider how doorways—probably the most utilized element of a building—would appear if door and hardware manufacturers limited product choices to a handful of options. Bold and creative entrance ways would give way to cookie cutter openings.
Fortunately, many companies are able to create decorative door and hardware products that open a world of design possibilities and dare designers to dream.
Blending beauty and brawn Decorative doors and hardware have always been around for residential and moderate use openings without heavy security demands. Most commercial grade hardware for high security openings, however, has lacked aesthetic appeal, choosing instead to follow the traditional design principle that dictates form follows function. The basic function of commercial grade hardware is to provide security. The form of this hardware, therefore, could best be described as brawny; a sturdy look to match the brute strength expected of the product.
Design professionals have long expressed an interest in door and hardware products that could perform their security and life-safety functions without detracting from the aesthetics of a building. Much to the credit of these persistent designers, manufacturers in the U.S. are starting to realize there is no need for security and aesthetics to be mutually exclusive.
In fact, the industrial looking, commercial-grade lock has undergone a metamorphosis lately. Yes, the products still offer high levels of security, but they are now unrecognizable from their former selves. Sleek, curvy and elegant, commercial security-grade door hardware has become good looking.
Now that durable, commercial-grade locks are becoming increasingly available with stylish accents, designers can easily incorporate hardware into the overall design element of a building. This makes it possible to have a design continuum throughout the entire structure. So if a computer server room needs tight access control, the designer can go ahead and use a mortise lock with a credential reader and not have to worry that the hardware used on that particular door will stand out or look different from those on other openings.
The commercial hardware industry has evolved to the point that mortise locks, bored locks, exit device trim and credential readers are becoming design solutions, rather than potential eyesores. These locksets have morphed from their traditional cold, hard form into warm and pleasing decorative pieces that seem to invite touch.
Small details, big impressions
Smartly designed door openings can make a big difference in the operational efficiency of a building. Since doorways are intimate contact points between people and the building, incorporating little details can make a lasting impression. Yes, a smartly designed door opening can create a memorable user experience.
Today, it’s easier than ever to create total aesthetic openings with decorative doors and hardware that balance good looks without sacrificing life safety, security, sustainability or convenience. This design philosophy can be applied across any space where there is a desire to blend aesthetics with security, life safety, sustainability and convenience, from hotels and hospitals to offices, schools, theaters and more.
The harmonic balance between form and function is evident in today’s door openings. Industrial – looking, commercial-grade openings have undergone a metamorphosis into aesthetically-pleasing, multi-dimensional building components. These products offer high levels of safety, security and sustainability while elevating the aesthetics and functionality of any building. Welcome to the age of good design in the door and hardware industry!
For more information, contact Ryan Lowe with ASSA ABLOY.
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