Doors & Door Hardware

January 2011

Lualdi American Designer Collection

By Rita Catinella Orrell

Regarded as one of the world’s leading producers of luxury doors, Lualdi invited a group of American designers and architects to create the Italian manufacturer’s first collection specifically geared to the American market.

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“A beautiful product has no boundaries, but each country has its trends, and the three designers have interpreted the door keeping local trends in mind while adding small details that make their doors up-to-date and successful,” explains Lualdi president Alberto Lualdi. Lualdi directed the designers to interpret the door according to their style and vision: Dror Benshetrit, eclectic and innovative; David Rockwell, modern and linear; and Robert A.M. Stern, classic and elegant. The designers all have previous product design credentials for major manufacturers, ranging from furnishings to footwear.

Available this month, the interior doors are appropriate for both residential and commercial projects. Benshetrit’s Davina design features a simple diagonal fold that gives the door a two-toned depth that subtly reveals the inside door frame, creating the illusion that the door is ajar. Rockwell’s door is distinguished by its handle, a vertical bar wrapped in leather that runs the entire length of the door. Rockwell and his team (principal Barry Richards and product designer Shunyi Wu) found inspiration in the grand, hand-carved entrance doors to the Chambers Hotel in New York, which his firm designed in 2000. “A door is the first touch point for visitors, so it is important to create an inviting first impression,” says Rockwell.

Avenue by Robert A.M. Stern is a series of three crisply detailed doors — available with single, double, or triple paneling in glossy or natural wood finishes — that reinterpret the doors of a classic New York prewar apartment. “One of the challenges is not to overdesign the door,” explains Alex Lamis, who worked with Stern, Nathaniel Pearson, and Alvaro Soto on the designs. “It must be kept simple enough so as not to be distracting, but rather to differentiate itself through the elegance of its proportions and refinement of detail.” For Benshetrit, crafting the hardware was the project’s most challenging aspect: “Although doors are very minimal, the little hardware they use must be extremely precise and adjustable for different conditions.” CIRCLE 200

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