Wide-open, sliding curved glass patio doors, described as an architect’s dream design flourish, now go wider than ever before with the launch of a new system from Surrey specialists Balconette. The new doors feature a new development that reduces heat transference by a third.
The newly-launched Curvaglide® system is bespoke built to fit curved facades. Enhanced tracks and rolling mechanisms mean previous width limits have been greatly expanded, with installations of up to 19 metres already completed. Customisable options mean the doors can be overlapped in a variety of different configurations.
“Curved patio doors are a high-end, exclusive product” says Balconette CEO Effi Wolff. “Bi-fold patio doors have become commonplace, but curved building facades are rare, and demand something special.
“We have engineered a new support structure and rolling mechanisms to handle extreme widths. For properties lucky enough to feature curving walls, the new Curvaglide® doors are the perfect complement. Owners get to feel as if they are in the landscape, not just looking at it.”
Both the curved glass and matched frames are made to measure in-house by Balconette, who have UK headquarters 40 minutes outside London. The sliding mechanism uses either 2 or 3 tracks, allowing customised configurations of fixed and sliding doors. The smallest configuration uses just 2 panes, both sliding to reveal a 50% opening. For larger installations, up to 4 doors can be slideable.
The radius, door/pane widths, height and sliding configurations are all bespoke. Balconette supply the entire system, with low-E double-glazing, stopping more than half the internal or external heat transferring through the glass, standard across the range. 28 mm double glazing is also standard, with toughened safety glass on both sides.
The soft ‘Low-E’ glass used in the Curvaglide® system is another unique feature pioneered by Balconette, providing greater comfort and much better energy efficiency. Curved glass is usually provided with a ‘hard’ Low-E coating to cut down heat transference through the glass. The soft Low-E coatings used by Balconette are far more advanced and reduce heat transference by an extra 30%.
Wolff explains: “Manufacture of curved glass is significantly more challenging than flat glass, particularly in the application of Low-E coatings. We don’t know of anyone else in the UK who is able to offer curved glass with the extra efficiency of a Low-E soft coating.
“Architects as far away as California have asked us for these doors. They simply have not been available. Besides the coating improvement, we had to design and engineer a structural system that could support the physical stresses and remain smooth, quiet and strong. Because we manufacture both the curved glass and frames in-house we can be sure of smooth movement of the doors and a ‘hand in glove’ fit.
“The Curvaglide® range is undoubtedly a luxury item, but it opens up completely new possibilities for architects. If you have a wonderful view and want to really make the most of it, nothing else comes close.
“Our doors can be curved to complement, highlight or harmonise with the lines or features of the building design. We have long experience working with architects and builders and give thorough technical support and advice from conception to installation.”
Curved facades are rare but they have long been popular with architects. Charles Deaton, famous for the curved house featured in the Woody Allen film “Sleeper”, famously said: ‘If people do not have angles then we should not live in boxes’