Much has been made of the importance of doors throughout human history. They have been presented to us as portals to other dimensions which open and close, often without our knowledge or consent. Some we can choose to go through on our own, and others are opened or closed to us, or so we are told. There is magic involved in the concept of doors; spirituality and wonder, beyond which anything is possible.
Aldous Huxley said, “The man who comes back through the door in the wall will never be quite the same as the man who went out.”
To open a door is to reveal something about ourselves, to alter our options so fundamentally that we are given the opportunity to move into an entirely different reality. It’s heady stuff and we never quite get over the childlike wonder of opening a door into a new space with which we are unfamiliar.
Not all doors are opaque in modern life though, and transparency has sometimes been used to pull us through, to entice us to move from once space to the next with greater ease. But there is something to be said for architectural design that holds secrets. Hidden terraces and unexpected gardens, secret passageways that open to inspiring spaces. The transformative power of architecture and design as a means for discovery.
“The man who comes back through the door in the wall will never be quite the same as the man who went out.”
We are constantly exploring new ways of thinking about space—examining how to use the concept of discovery to create drama, tension and intrigue within a building, a room or plaza, so that ultimately we always leave a lasting impression, and possibly a memory.
The first time you enter an entirely new environment will always leave the most indelible mark, and doorways are often the conduit to that experience. Is the door actually a door, or is it merely an opening? Is it heavy or light, obvious or hidden, simple or elaborate? Sometimes the portal itself is the experience, a method of moving us from one space to the next, and other times it is a means to obstruct our view so that the element of surprise is fully realized. There is no right or wrong way to construct a door therefore, except that it should facilitate the experience in the same way that the architecture of the building must coexist with the interior design if you want to create a holistic environment that works both aesthetically and practically.
A door you see, can be so much more than just a door.