2016 AZ Awards Winner: Best Architectural Product

2016 AZ Awards Winner: Best Architectural Product

Part door, part wall, Anyway Doors’ pivoting room divider is a major design statement. 

The success of Anyway’s pivoting room divider hinges on a hinge. Not just any hinge, of course: a compact piece of hardware smaller than a smart phone, and virtually invisible in its environment. Hidden technology is the stock-in-trade of this 20-year-old company, located outside Antwerp.

The hinges and closures for its streamlined doors are integrated right into the frame, to obscure them from view. Its newest oversized room divider has put that technology to the test, essentially making a door up to 5.5-metres-square into a divider with a twist. When the hinge is attached to the centre of the bottom edge, the plane can rotate 360 degrees in either direction. When the door leaf is manufactured in an opaque material, to match the walls, it ceases to be a door altogether and takes on an almost magical function.

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Understandably, if you find a large section of door jutting into both rooms mildly aggressive, there’s the offset axis, where the hinge sits a third of the way in. There is also no structural re­inforcement needed to carry the load. Traditional homes can accommodate the door; even spaces with underfloor heating are fine, since the stainless steel floor mount (which consists of two thin bolts) is drilled down just four centimetres, shallower than most flooring.

Marvelously minimalist, the expanses of glass sit within a custom-made anodized aluminum frame that supports up to 150 kilograms, won’t pinch anyone’s fingers, and yet still moves with the slightest nudge and barely a sound.

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About the firm: Established in 1995, Anyway is devoted to making doors – the most common elements in a house – a pleasure to look at and use. The Antwerp company uses maintenance-free materials, with the mechanical elements concealed. It also manufactures sliding doors, modular wardrobe systems and door hardware.  

What the jury said: “Is it a wall or a door? I love that it’s both.”  – John Tong

Designers: Koen Dries and Rudi Dries, with Marieke Cools

Manufacturer: Anyway Doors, Antwerp, Belgium

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