A Grand Entrance

Expansive glass openings play an essential energy-saving role at the Minarc House, alternately pulling breezes and the sun’s warmth inside.

minarc house entry door portrait1
An enormous, pivoting front door ushers the Pacific Ocean breezes from the west inside.

The eight-foot pivoting entry door was a collaboration between Thorsteinsson, Five Star French Doors and Windows, and Rixson hardware company. “The challenge was to make a door this size that would pivot,” says Thorsteinsson. They calculated that given the excessive weight of approximately 150 pounds, no more than four and a half feet could extend from the center pivot. They positioned the pivot off center and left only a foot and a half extending over the exterior threshold. “More out-swing might have been hazardous with kids around,” Thorsteinsson explains. A standard hinged door next to it allows a total nine-foot-wide opening. Both doors are made of vertical-grain Douglas fir with white laminated glass for light and privacy.

On the opposite side of the room, a 30-foot stretch of glass doors framed in Douglas fir sit on a tracking device called lift and slide, by Alban Giacomo. A detachable lever raises the doors about a half inch and all three glide out of sight, becoming one with the wood grill in front of the bedroom window. The result is a living room that’s completely open to the backyard."

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