Window shutters are one of the most popular additions to renovated homes and new builds in Australia, and for many good reasons. The humble shutter affords the homeowner a great deal of privacy while also letting in light, is easy to clean, is low maintenance and available in a range of materials like wood or aluminium - as well as a range of finishes that can be easily tailored to fit with any design.
In addition to the attributes above, plantation shutters are extraordinarily versatile. They can be fitted internally or externally depending on the project requirements. They can be fitted to windows or glass sliding doors or even balconies. They can add a touch of airiness to an interior design when used as screens, room dividers or cupboard / wardrobe fronts. Shutter blades can be installed in locked position or operable (or a mixture of both) which gives residents an unparalleled level of choice in allowing breezes or light into their homes.
Providing further proof of their versatility, plantation shutters can be used to enclose irregular shapes such as bay windows, arches, rounds or curved facades - and it was the challenge of a curved facade that Australian shutter manufacture OpenShutters faced when creating an elegant, high performance shutter solution for the balcony of a Sydney Terrace.
This elevated harbourside terrace was designed by Porebski Architects who had specified two balconies with curved outer perimeters as part of the blueprint. Each balcony required eight metres of bi-fold tracking shutters with operable blades; 12 shutters per balcony, with six folding each way.
Manufacturing functional, aesthetically pleasing shutters for a job of this kind required a bespoke solution and posed numerous challenges that had to be overcome. The first came in sourcing tracking and hardware that was sturdy and durable enough to withstand the heavy wind and weather potential of the terrace’s seaside location. The tracking itself also posed difficulties - ensuring it was curved to the correct specification and configuring bi-folding shutter panels that would operate efficiently on a curved track required precise calculation and measurement. Finally procuring hardware that would adequately secure the panels in both open and closed configurement, as well as ensuring the tracks and panels were correctly mounted was essential in ensuring construction was a smooth process for the client.
As an established shutter manufacturer in the Australian market, OpenShutters had a range of hardware partners to consult and collaborate with in solving the complex problem of the curved tracking and bi-fold aspect. Through partners, OpenShutters was able to obtain a suitable bi-fold system and also to arrange tracking that was exactly curved to the specified radius of the balcony design. Through regular conversations with the architect around design modifications, OpenShutters was able to overcome issues posed by the curvature of the tracking and its impact on the movement of the bi-fold panels. Finally, appropriate hardware to secure the panels in fixed positions was sourced and the fitout was complete.
The end result was a high performance bi-fold shutter system that allows the residents to take full advantage of the stunning seaview. The operable shutter blades mean that the residents can enjoy natural light, breezes and visuals even when the panels are across the opening, and the tracking allows full exposure when the panels are moved across. The shutters themselves added to the aesthetic and overall look of the property, making them a valuable addition to the design.
Bi-fold panel shutters can be a challenging proposition even in simple designs, but adding curved tracking adds a level of complexity that can pose serious issues if not handled by professionals that are experienced in the manufacture and installation of such projects.
OpenShutters specialise in detailed, bespoke shutter solutions that blend functional operation with elegant design. For over 20 years, OpenShutters has been a preferred choice for designers and specifiers across Australia. To find out if an OpenShutters solution is right for your next project, click here.