Brio architectural hardware made an adventurous curved door project a reality for an innovative wedding venue in north Devon.
Tunnels Beaches is a network of hand carved tunnels leading to sheltered beaches and a tidal Victorian bathing pool at Ilfracombe, the location of a breath-taking beach front wedding venue operated by Devon Beach Weddings. The bespoke building curving out of the rock means there are no concerns about the UK weather and whatever turn it takes it is all visible through curved bi-folding glazed doors – whether opened or closed.
The owner had the idea to refurbish and at the same time to extend the upper story of the curved building by 2 metres, installing curved bi-folding glazed doors and thereby increasing capacity from 130 guests to 160. With a full house for weddings in 2017, (120+ weddings booked), over 100 weddings already booked for 2018 and prime dates in 2019 booking fast, the extension was a must.
Awlwood Joinery already had a good relationship with the owners Jamie and Zoe McLintock having worked with them at the Tunnels Beaches Bath House – an old Victorian bath house – which was turned in to wedding accommodation for the venues guests, so when the scheme was mooted to install curving bi-folding doors the McLintock’s turned to David Wray at Awlwood Joinery. “It wasn’t anything we had done before but we are skilled guys and the concept is not beyond the reach of man – after all we can send men to the moon – so we undertook the commission. The architect, RGP of Barnstaple, came up with a scheme and we did as they instructed – but with fewer doors (two sets, opening out). The design included wood cladding and lots of steel.
“We opted for the Brio Weatherfold 4s system after talking to Bob Harrison at Hebden & Holding architectural ironmonger and the Brio team which takes panels up to 1 metre wide. The decision was led by the architect’ plans and the constraints of the timber as you cannot have huge pieces of curved timber so we had to make up the doors from smaller pieces that would eventually be bolted together on site. The actual frame was put together by the owner’s site carpenters.”
David Wray says: “I am very pleased with the results especially with Brio’s new dual point locking mechanism. Most bi-folding doors are locked top and bottom which means reaching up and bending down to operate. The new Brio system is a finger locking mechanism. I am so impressed with it I am using it on all jobs. It may be more expensive but it is well worth the investment for the huge improvement and simplified operation and it looks so much better.
Brio’s 286 Dual Point Lock system launched last year has been joined by Brio’s 288 Lever Furniture to give joiners a deluxe option to offer their customers who now, more than ever, are looking for aesthetics as well as practicality.
Brio’s 286 Dual Point Lock is suitable for Brio’s tough exterior folding system Weatherfold 4s with timber or aluminium panels and for single hinge panels, such as French doors, up to 3.5 metres high, offering an alternative to the standard flushbolts. It is both ultra secure and aesthetically pleasing.
Rather than having the standard flushbolt at the top and the bottom of the door system on the inside of the property the end user can now choose a more sophisticated finish with the 288 lever handle readily accessible in the central part of the door so there is no reaching up or bending down to operate bolts.
“I am also impressed with Brio R&D – they are always coming up with new ideas and fixes. Best on the market. The solutions are effective and the Brio representatives are helpful and thoughtful – that’s a one-off!”
According to David Newton, General Manager UK at Brio, the demand for bi-folding and sliding exterior and interior doors is set to continue apace, with a variety of aesthetic demands from delicate ‘floating’ glass systems to commercial style projects such as this example in North Devon. “What this means in practice is that Brio, with its range of product and flexible attitude, will continue to keep pace with the architect’s need for innovative product that can transform anything they design on paper into reality,” he says.