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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.

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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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    Well Thawed Out

    At the end of 2000, Tryggvi Thorsteinsson and Erla Dögg Ingjaldsdóttir, Icelandic natives and partners in the Santa Monica–based design firm Minarc, bought what was essentially a teardown in the West Village neighborhood of Los Angeles.

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