7 Materials to Raise the Bar for Pivot Door Design

The Endless Design Possibilities of Various Finishes

Inspiration 12 October 2023

Taking hardware into consideration is essential for the feasibility of any project. The desired degree of perfection can only be achieved if all factors come together seamlessly.

With one small yet essential part settled – the hinge – let’s shift the focus toward another integral part of building a door: the finish. With the wide assortment of materials available for pivot doors, we have selected a few of our favorite choices that will elevate your contemporary door design. From common materials that have stood the test of time to avant-garde finishes, this guide leads through worthwhile options to spark inspiration and open new horizons.

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Copper & Bronze Plated Pivot Doors: Exquisite Opulence

Only a few finishes offer the potential to transform doors into stunning focal points, but metals boast a sense of grandeur with any project. Copper, a natural material, and bronze, an alloy consisting primarily of copper, have been valued for their beauty and practicality across the ages. From a design perspective, their warm and earthy tones unlock a color palette that feels both rich and inviting at the same time.

Castlecrag House with FritsJurgens pivot hinge System M
Copper pivot door Manufactured by Cumberland Building Designed by Porebski Architects
© Peter Bennetts

A Living Finish with Copper & Bronze

From a polished finish with a modern look to a classic brushed surface, the versality of both materials gives way to blend into varying aesthetics. Over time, patina will inevitably develop through oxidation, a condition that can either be countered by proper maintenance, i.e. regular polishing, or welcomed as an evolving element of design. Left to itself, the finish will tell the beautiful story of natural transformation as time goes by – this can even be sped up with the use of chemicals to create the aged effect purposely if desired.

Copper & Bronze: A Great Choice for External Doors

Although their optics might evolve, copper or bronze plated pivot doors are considerably strong and very durable, making them excellent choices for external use in combination with System M. It will ensure long-living functionality and also equips them with the fluid movement their elegant optics deserve, thanks to the adjustable soft-close and the hydraulic backcheck. However, it is worth noting that placing them in spaces that offer protection from the elements will minimize maintenance while ensuring longevity.

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Marble Pivot Doors: Luxurious and Monumental

From the Taj Mahal built of Makrana marble to the statue of David crafted from Carrara marble, this stone has made numerous famous appearances in history and cultures. Marble is known as the material of monuments and including it in interior design decisions will add a luxurious and visually striking touch. Considering it as an option for pivot doors, on the other hand, is still mostly unexplored, which makes it an uncommon yet impressive choice.

Marble’s Perfect Imperfections

Its visual range covers different colors – while white and soft grey tones often come to mind first, there are options in soft pink, beige tones, dark green, brown, and black too. The veining is a discipline of its own, resulting in an execution of sheer sophistication. Granted, the natural imperfections of marble need to be taken into account. Each piece is truly unique and variations in color, veining and patterns are the norm. When pinning together one pivot door from different pieces of marble this is a variable to be factored with. Some may even define this as the beauty of working with natural materials and incorporate it in the design process.

Marble: Beautiful, Yet Challenging

The sheer weight of the stone is a force to be reckoned with. Yet with the System M+ and its lifting capacity of up to 500 kg, marble can be seen as a serious contender for pivot doors. As proven throughout history, it is a reliable material that withstands the test of time, but if subjected to impact, it is prone to chipping. This is where the backcheck function of System M+ comes in. It not only ensures a graceful and seamless closing motion but also acts as a safeguard, preventing the door from making contact with the wall.

Well-advised with Marble

In hot climates, marble doors hold a significant advantage. Regardless how high the temperatures rise; the stone remains refreshingly cool to the touch. It quickly dissipates heat, and it takes a long time before it loses its naturally cool sensation.

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Doors with Textile Finish: Soft and Tactile

Beyond striking monumental doors, there is an undeniable charm in intricate door finishes too. Valuable materials such as silk, velvet or linen have a rich history of adorning doors, infusing interiors with warmth and a sense of grounding. Often reserved for rooms where these qualities are desirable (living rooms and bedrooms quickly come to mind) textile finishes are in steady demand.

445.2-textile-pivot-door-mobelbau-breitenthaler-elena-egger-total-solution.jpg 445.3-textile-pivot-door-mobelbau-breitenthaler-elena-egger-total-solution.jpg

The Multifaceted Potential of Textiles

Coordinating the door coating with fabrics already present in the room establishes a seamless and harmonious aesthetic, where each element perfectly complements the other. System One’s compact and narrow setup allows for very narrow gaps that won’t draw any attention away from the finish in this context. Therefore the potential designs of fabric-clad pivot doors are as diverse as the array of fabrics available – even experiments with depth and dimension are within the realms of possibility with upholstery or three-dimensional embroidery. The functional aspects of using fabric on doors are also worth noting. Especially in modern homes, where textiles are scarce, the acoustics can be significantly improved by textile-cladding the doors while still staying true to a clean, minimalistic look.

Handle Textiles with Care

However, the delicate feel of fabric clad doors already suggests that textile finishes require thoughtful handling. Their location should be carefully considered during the design process, as exposure to moisture and sunlight can lead to fabric degradation. If only part of the door is subjected directly to the sun, the fading of the colors will show inconsistencies. While fabric pleating might not be the most practical choice, the potential to enhance the ambiance of a room could outweigh the challenges it presents.

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Liquid Metal Finish: Amazing the Design World

Metaphors for iron often revolve around strength, durability, and solidity. And yet liquid metal is a transformative, dynamic, and fluid material that combines a metallic aesthetic with the adaptability of a liquid substance. As far as door finishes go, this one has taken the design world by storm. It can imitate the appearance of solid metals including bronze, copper and brass and allows for experiments with different textures, patterns, and metal tones – opening the playfield for never-before-seen aesthetics.

Opening New Worlds with Liquid Metal

While traditional metal pleating poses manufacturing constraints, the liquid metal finish distinguishes itself with its incredible versatility. When it comes to bruised, patinated or hammered effects – the tactile and visually appealing outcome is always sure to amaze.

Mastering Liquid Metal Down to the Core

Liquid metal finishes can be applied to a number of core materials, each of them with their own advantages in terms of efficiency and weight. Incorporating insulation to improve energy conservation is among the possibilities, making the finish a valid choice for exterior doors. Choosing a light core material significantly alters the weight of the door in comparison to solid metal doors. This allows for larger door designs which becomes especially appealing for those who like to think bigger in terms of pivot doors. The System M+ offers one pivot hinge for an extensive weight range, prepared to hold doors between 80 and 500 kg and therefore equipped for the smallest and grandest ideas alike.

Pros and Cons of Liquid Metal Finishes

As the substance is applied as a liquid, it forms a consistent metallic surface without visible seams or joints. This metallic coat protects the core material, forming a protective layer to guard the door’s surface against moisture, UV exposure and scratches. The durability in combination with the option to create a massive impression, yet excluding the restraints of the handling, makes liquid metal an appealing finish for exterior doors.

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Concrete: The Core of Contemporary Design

Hardly any material in the design sphere underwent an evolution as remarkable as concrete. Once limited to functional purposes due to its durability, versatility, and cost-effectiveness, the rise of brutalist architecture changed the perception towards valuing its unpolished aesthetic. Concrete has since become the embodiment of the minimal industrial chic.

There’s More to Concrete

Apart from its use as a building material, concrete is also an excellent choice for pivot doors. Its durability and longevity make it suitable for both interior and exterior use, where it displays remarkable resistance to environmental factors such as moisture, UV exposure, and temperature fluctuations. Even its porosity can be eluded by proper sealing, which prevents issues like cracking when subjected to moisture, staining, or fading in harsh sunlight.

By DNA architects & Pichelmann Custom Building
By DNA architects & Pichelmann Custom Building

Handling a Heavyweight Like Concrete

Considering insulation is key to making concrete pivot doors more energy efficient while also reducing the weight of a solid construction. The System One, purposefully designed for pivot doors with slim frames, functions as a singular pivot point and offers an impressive weight capacity of up to 500 kg. This gives room to model custom concrete pivot doors that seamlessly blend into the aesthetics of their surroundings. Featuring uniquely narrow top and bottom gaps, the System One has the power to transform concrete pivot doors into integral parts of contemporary design that will stand strong through the test of time.

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Leather Cladded Pivot Doors: A Symbol for Craftsmanship and Luxury

Like previous materials covered in this guide, leather has also successfully withstood the test of time, with its significance originating in its remarkable durability. Simultaneously it has evolved into a symbol of status, becoming the material of luxury goods, emitting an aura of great value. In the realm of interior design, leather creates an ambiance of sophistication and warmth, also grounded in its tactile quality.

Execute The Unexpected with Leather

A leather-clad pivot door for example is sure to make a lasting impression. The wide range of different leather types offers a grand selection of colors and textures that allows for customization aligning with individual taste or interior style.

Leather Means Dedication

As with any other luxury good, leather must be met with proper consideration and care. It is strictly limited to interior use, as it is sensitive to moisture and direct sunlight. Even with all due caution, leather will undergo an aging process, serving as an intriguing visible testament of the moments it has lived through. The use of highest quality leather and proper sealing are the two main factors to turn leather-clad pivot doors into long-living assets.

Leather’s Core Potential Unveiled

It is important to note that leather alone is not sufficient as a door material, it is generally used in combination with a core that can also contribute to the design. Additionally, hidden cores offer extra properties, such as enhanced energy efficiency depending on the material. The classic choice of pairing leather cladding with a wooden door makes for a symbiosis of two warm, natural materials. Considering contemporary design options, leather can just as well be paired with metals, whether it's a liquid metal finish or solid metals like bronze and copper. This modern approach opens up exciting new possibilities worth exploring and with System One in play, there are no limitations to hardware feasibility. It operates on a single pivot point, offering a free-swing pivot door that unlocks a universe of creative ideas.

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Aluminum Pivot Doors: The Antidote to Luxuriant Metals

Aluminum, with its lightweight and silvery appearance, stands in stark contrast to the aforementioned rich and warm metals. Its appeal lies in its clean lines and sleek aesthetics, making it a favored choice for contemporary and industrial design themes. Despite its lightness, aluminum boasts exceptional durability, rendering it an ideal material for exterior pivot doors. Concerns like corrosion, rust, and weathering are non-issues when working with aluminum, as it is renowned for its longevity. It can withstand exposure to various environmental conditions and maintain its integrity for many years without showing signs of wear or degradation.

Spotlight on Aluminum Design

While these practical attributes are noteworthy, it's also crucial to acknowledge the vast design possibilities that aluminum offers. The material can be customized extensively, encompassing a range of finishes, coatings, and colors. Perhaps the most attractive aspect of aluminum is its lightweight nature, which expands the horizons of door design possibilities, allowing for wider and more ambitious creations. Despite its impressive size potential, aluminum doors remain manageable during installation and use, especially when combined with the right hardware. The System M+ adds to the numerous options Aluminum has to offer, with the weight range and the safety functions to facilitate any imaginable design idea.

Meet Aluminum, the Frontrunner

Furthermore, aluminum holds substantial promise in terms of energy efficiency. While the metal itself conducts heat and cold, the incorporation of thermal breaks and insulated cores effectively reduces heat transfer. This makes aluminum an excellent choice for exterior pivot doors in cold weather climates.  Designers seeking reliability, ease of installation, and creative freedom should unquestionably consider aluminum for their next pivot door project.

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