Take a Step Through 20 Huge Modern Doors

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By Dwell
From wall-sized swinging doors to two-story roll-ups, these portals help you make a big entrance.

As a place in the home that's often overlooked, these 20 examples reveal substantial, creative, and sometimes dramatic designs that welcome you in with extra wide-open arms. 

To further connect the indoor spaces with the New England landscape outside, glass walls in the living and dining areas slide open to eliminate the barriers between indoors and outdoors. Green slate tiles compose the flooring inside.

To further connect the indoor spaces with the New England landscape outside, glass walls in the living and dining areas slide open to eliminate the barriers between indoors and outdoors. Green slate tiles compose the flooring inside.

Davor and August check out the yard from the living room. "The bifold Vistalite doors allow us to open the house up completely and enjoy the fresh, warm air," Davor says.

Davor and August check out the yard from the living room. "The bifold Vistalite doors allow us to open the house up completely and enjoy the fresh, warm air," Davor says.

A pivoting door, also made of larch, provides a shortcut to enter the structure as an alternative to the main courtyard entrance.

A pivoting door, also made of larch, provides a shortcut to enter the structure as an alternative to the main courtyard entrance.

Oriented to absorb the afternoon sun, floor-to-ceiling doors comprise two-thirds of the home’s west-facing walls, which open to an elevated deck overlooking Island Bay. Combined with extra-thick building insulation, this passive element provides sufficient heating for the home, even during winter months—a true feat given the region’s cold seasonal winds.

Oriented to absorb the afternoon sun, floor-to-ceiling doors comprise two-thirds of the home’s west-facing walls, which open to an elevated deck overlooking Island Bay. Combined with extra-thick building insulation, this passive element provides sufficient heating for the home, even during winter months—a true feat given the region’s cold seasonal winds.

The highlight of the east wing entry is the oversize front door, fabricated by JIG Design Build, which swings open on a pivot hinge.

The highlight of the east wing entry is the oversize front door, fabricated by JIG Design Build, which swings open on a pivot hinge.

In warm weather, the family slides open the doors to draw in cool canyon breezes.

In warm weather, the family slides open the doors to draw in cool canyon breezes.

A custom pivot door by Archispec opens onto a foyer with a poured-concrete floor. The oil painting at right is by Derrick Buisch.

A custom pivot door by Archispec opens onto a foyer with a poured-concrete floor. The oil painting at right is by Derrick Buisch.

The library’s entrance features massive panel doors made of tropical freijó wood. Inside, leather armchairs by Jorge Zalszupin accent the space.

The library’s entrance features massive panel doors made of tropical freijó wood. Inside, leather armchairs by Jorge Zalszupin accent the space.

Thanks to clever engineering by Sand Studios, seven-year-old Macy can operate the 2,000-pound door.

Thanks to clever engineering by Sand Studios, seven-year-old Macy can operate the 2,000-pound door.

Walnut doors come together to form a corner in the entry foyer.

Walnut doors come together to form a corner in the entry foyer.

The wood stove is the Rondo model by Rais.

The wood stove is the Rondo model by Rais.

The front door is made from re-milled old leftover beams. A custom pivot mechanism allows the weight of the massive door to rest on a tiny point, allowing for almost friction-free operation.

The front door is made from re-milled old leftover beams. A custom pivot mechanism allows the weight of the massive door to rest on a tiny point, allowing for almost friction-free operation.

Architect Bill Yudchitz asked his son, Daniel, to help him create a self-sustaining multi-level family cabin in Bayfield, Wisconsin.

Architect Bill Yudchitz asked his son, Daniel, to help him create a self-sustaining multi-level family cabin in Bayfield, Wisconsin.

Sliding doors cast shadows across the concrete floor.

Sliding doors cast shadows across the concrete floor.

Soheil steps into the music and screening room, which is concealed behind a masonry-veneered door. "We were able to hide a lot of the square footage below the main level, but not in a way that would hurt the design," he says.

Soheil steps into the music and screening room, which is concealed behind a masonry-veneered door. "We were able to hide a lot of the square footage below the main level, but not in a way that would hurt the design," he says.

A deft cross-ventilation system keeps things cool in the summer. A series of tilt-turn low-E wood window-doors by Swiss manufacturer Gautschi not only allows passage to the side yard and a bit of extra natural light but, when tilted down, permits breezes to pass through the house.

A deft cross-ventilation system keeps things cool in the summer. A series of tilt-turn low-E wood window-doors by Swiss manufacturer Gautschi not only allows passage to the side yard and a bit of extra natural light but, when tilted down, permits breezes to pass through the house.

The calf leather–upholstered banquette between the grand salon and the bedroom was designed by Perret and is original to the apartment; Claus likes to imagine that it’s where Perret would curl up for a nap.

The calf leather–upholstered banquette between the grand salon and the bedroom was designed by Perret and is original to the apartment; Claus likes to imagine that it’s where Perret would curl up for a nap.

The door to Eoghan Mahony’s office is set on a caster and has a hinge that runs the entire 10-foot height.

The door to Eoghan Mahony’s office is set on a caster and has a hinge that runs the entire 10-foot height.

The front door is an awe-inspiring 14-foot mixed wood creation made by L.A. custom door fabricators Real Door Inc. The wood used in making the door were mostly leftovers from the shop, says Dino of Real Door Inc.; that fact isn’t clear from the artistry evident in the door’s gorgeous gentle-wave patterning.

The front door is an awe-inspiring 14-foot mixed wood creation made by L.A. custom door fabricators Real Door Inc. The wood used in making the door were mostly leftovers from the shop, says Dino of Real Door Inc.; that fact isn’t clear from the artistry evident in the door’s gorgeous gentle-wave patterning.

When the team chose to preserve the function of the rolling garage door, it proved to be one of the biggest design challenges of the project. Garcia says, "We didn’t want it to roll back into the new living space because it would limit our lighting options for the room." Thus, an unconventional exterior-track rolling door was conceptualized that would not cut into the interior volume. In the backyard that was preserved in the remodel, an olive tree provides natural shade. Maintaining the outdoor area was especially important to the kids as a play area, and Anthony, an avid cook and gardener.

When the team chose to preserve the function of the rolling garage door, it proved to be one of the biggest design challenges of the project. Garcia says, "We didn’t want it to roll back into the new living space because it would limit our lighting options for the room." Thus, an unconventional exterior-track rolling door was conceptualized that would not cut into the interior volume. In the backyard that was preserved in the remodel, an olive tree provides natural shade. Maintaining the outdoor area was especially important to the kids as a play area, and Anthony, an avid cook and gardener.