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    The sliding door hardware architects use

    Nicholas Rider

    Common to nearly all design briefs in Australia is the provision of flexible interior spaces that can be easily opened or closed to the outdoors depending on weather conditions. One of the most effective ways to achieve this flexibility is through the specification of sliding doors, and as you’ll see there is a healthy number of sliding door hardware suppliers in Australia available to help you on that quest.

    Here are nine available in Australia that have been specified by some of our nation's top architects:

    Series 704 Slidemaster by Architectural Window Systems

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    Carlton Warehouse by Kennedy Nolan. Photography by Derek Swalwell

    704_ProductSheet.jpgThe Series 704 Slidemaster Sliding Door from Architectural Windows System is a popular choice among Australian architects. Specified by the likes of Kieron Gait Architects, Richard Cole, Kennedy Nolan, Kel Greenway, Alexander Symes, Ergo Architecture, Smart Design Studio and many more, the 704 is designed to carry large panels and withstand high wind loads.

    Doors run on heavy-duty double bogey wheel carriages that can carry panels up to 2500mm in width and 3000mm in height, providing commercial scale to residential projects at a residential price point. 

    “We were trying to achieve a scale that you wouldn’t normally see in domestic building, to see a sort of simplicity and abstractness to the project,” says Victoria Reeves of Kennedy Nolan Architects when reflecting on her firm’s choice of 704 Series doors and other AWS products for its Carleton Warehouse project.

    “The AWS sections did the trick.”

    One of its major visual features of the 704 sliding door is its flat square frame with flat fillers that close off all unwanted recesses to water, dirt and insects. The sill comes in two heights, the standard 35mm high sill will resist 300Pa water, while the 55mm high performance sill will resist 450Pa water.

    Series 704 has been designed as an internal sliding door that can be fabricated in numerous configurations. Centor screening is compatible with the 704 as is AWS’s Flowthru threshold drainage technology.


    VA Mono by Vitrocsa Australia

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    Whale Beach by Tobias Partners. Photography by Justin Alexander

    Crop.jpgSwiss-born architectural door hardware company, Vitrocsa is making a real mark in Australia. It’s VA Mono sliding door system is just one from a suite of products being specified by leading Australian architects for award-winning projects.

    Marston Architects, Smart Design Studio, Durbach Block Jaggers, SJB and Tobias Partners, are a few firms who’ve used Vitrocsa sliding doors for projects recently, with the latter choosing the VA Mono for one in Whale Beach, NSW to award-winning success.

    “The head and footer tracks are beautifully detailed and able to fit superbly flush into floor and ceiling,” says Nick Tobias, founding principal at Tobias Partners.

    “...our greatest find has been the Vitrocsa Glazing System”

    As Tobias notes, all the VA Mono hardware, including tracks and frames, are recessed and hidden within the floor, walls and ceiling allowing just the glazing to be visible.

    Available with an unlimited number of tracks, the product can accommodate panels that can be installed in a variety of configurations including sliding, fixed and sliding, corner opening, side opening and centre opening panels. The extrusions of VA Mono are made from high grade aluminium.


    Single Run 120 by Brio

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    Wing House by Walter Barda. Image: Walter Barda

    Designed for interior and exterior sliding shutters, the Single Run 120 system from Brio is widely used in lighter commercial and industrial applications. The system can hold up to 120kg in weight, and uses Brio’s proven four-wheel reinforced nylon outer tyre hanger technology with either chrome or stainless steel high-speed precision bearings.

    The 120 series cast stainless steel hanger makes this a durable solution for high traffic applications with impressive corrosion resistance. Used to open up living areas to outside dining spaces, the Single Run 120 was employed by award winning building designer Walter Barda for his Wing House and Hilltown House projects in Sydney.

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    Hilltown House by Walter Barda. Image: Walter Barda


    A14 by Centor

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    Suited for both internal and external applications, Centor’s A14 allows panels up to 175kg and as large as 3m x 4m to slide parallel to each other or on a single track.

    “It is incredibly efficient for moving very large panels,” says architect Elizabeth Watson-Brown, who used the system in her Sherwood House project. “It's a very easy mechanism to use [and] that's appropriate in a domestic environment…”

    Permitting panels, shutters and screens to be removed and replaced in seconds, A14’s precision bearings mean finger-tip control over the most substantial of residential and light commercial openings. Simple side-fastening is possible by screwing directly through the head track, while a diversity of side and head-fix bracket alternatives make for maximum flexibility in door configuration possibilities.

    The track is available in roll-formed galvanised steel, stainless steel and extruded aluminium and the aluminium can be supplied in mill finish, satin or gold anodised or custom powdercoated. It can be either side or head fixed to a lintel.

    Centor are also the sliding door hardware of choice for renowned timber window and door joiners, Acacia Joinery who have worked for the likes of Peter Stutchbury, Fergus Scott, John King of Design King and Oliver Steele.  Centor has also been used by Aspect Architecture, BSA Architects, Richard Cole, BVN and Conrad Gargett.


    Tommaslide 300 Series Sliding Door Systems by Tomma

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    Kew House by Canny Architecture 

    Tommaslide 300 entails a modern designed top hung sliding door system that can be operated with weightless fingertip effort, producing a consistently smooth operating lifecycle for panels up to 300kg. The system features a quality tested compact aluminium track and precision bearings with machined polymer tyres.

    Additionally, internal, external and cavity sliders can be utilised to add to the aesthetic value of the building. Tomma was specified for Kew House in Victoria by Canny Architecture and is the sliding door hardware of choice for Edge Custom Architectural Glazing who have been specified by the likes of Rothelowman and Woods Bagot.


    Trip-Free Floor Track by Clear Edge Glass Systems

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    Dig Design chose Clear Edge Glass’ Trip-Free Floor Track for its Beaconsfield Parade project in St Kilda because it allowed seamless integration of floors both inside and outside, with no trip hazard.

    The track is designed to allow the glass panels to slide entirely along the track, pivot at the exit point and stack completely to the side. It is also easily adjustable to compensate for new build settling by 10mm up and 10mm down.


    The Mother of All Rollers by CiiLOCK Engineering

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    Ciilock Engineering’s Mother of All Rollers has been specially designed to ensure sliding operation remains smooth and consistent underneath the weightier panels. The rollers operate upon a ‘self-levelling’ mechanism; instantly activated when the weight of the door is applied to the roller.

    Each of the three wheels are encased within its own internal supportive structure meaning the unique mechanism balances the weight of the door evenly across the carriage and intuitively self-adjusts to accommodate any imperfections along the track. This ensures the panel motions flawlessly while maintaining consistent surface contact.

    The Mother of All Rollers also enables an enhanced load rating to smoothly glide panels weighing up to 300kg. 


    Allweather by Cowdroy

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    Cowdroy’s Allweather sliding door track system is a top-hung system designed for heavy doors up to a massive 240kg. It includes a robust aluminium enclosed track, concave nylon-tyre wheel assemblies and stainless steel components. Its strength comes from its heavy-duty four-wheel carriage.


    Multi-track sliding door by Wintec Systems

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    Wintec Systems market its Multi-track sliding door system as a great alternative to bifold doors. It is a stacking slider system which incorporates all stacked sashes within the confines of a singular frame. It is available in three and four track versions with two different sill options – a 67mm high performance and a 46mm low profile. It features a hollow sill with a built-in sill baffle for improved water penetration resistance, reduced air infiltration and enhanced acoustic properties. Sills can also be recessed with drainage underneath.

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