Experimenting for custom finishes: modern steel pivot gates

A series of 8 foot tall pivot gates totaling 40 feet wide will make a statement, especially when they stand at an entry courtyard facing the street. Being a focal point of the project it is critical the detailing and finishes are done just right. So, taking the clients preferences into account we launched an experiment to perfect a patina finish. A quick first round narrowed the field from 6 products to 3. The second round showed effects of combining products and presented a challenge where the patina would not adhere to sections that were super heated during fabrication. On the final round we were able to alter the fabrication techniques and layer up 4 steps on the patina to create the look the clients were going for.

con·tem·plate /ˈkäntəmˌplāt/ Verb: Look at thoughtfully. Think about.

When in doubt, make a template...Consistent reveals and smooth operation was important for these 11' tall pivot doors which will have gaskets installed to dampen mechanical noise from the room behind. A close study of hinge specifications and sketches is a good first step. But actual round-over bits available for profiles, and challenges with installation tolerances may not be obvious in sketches. This is an example of our carpenters making and fine tuning a template prior to working on the actual door slabs. After the first round of templates, we also had a chance to swap one profile and change the order of how two doors opened. 

Before we build it, is this OK?

Sometimes details work in plan view, but hardware limitations can cause potential issues. In this instance the operation of a pivot hinge was not going to allow for all aesthetic alignments shown in architectural plans. Before constructing we made these sketches to communicate our concern and give the architect a chance to approve or adjust details as desired.

Pivot Door Alignment.jpg