February 2020

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F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0 | 23 finish," Greenhill notes – which has migrated from the powder room and into building common areas. AccessSMT recently worked on a high-rise office with black washroom partitions and lockers, evidence that the black trend is migrating into non- residential spaces. Overall, door hardware shapes have also started to morph away from the sterile hard lines of the recent modern trend. "We're seeing more organic shapes but still sticking with a clean and sim- ple esthetic, particularly in condominiums," says Greenhill. "'Soft square' is a term that comes to mind for sure." For many, however, the best handles are no han- dles at all. Hardware firm Hettich has noted that handless furniture fronts are extremely popular, everywhere from the kitchen to the living room. Designers are embracing push-to-open mechanical function or electromechanical options for large slid- ing doors, drawers and hinged surfaces, and beyond. Great design, of course, isn't just about the look, it's about the function. Assa Abloy's X300-FH push-pull digital door lock is ergonomically designed – place your fingerprints in the scanner area, which lines up naturally with the handle, and you experience a smoother opening process than standard lever-type locks. For commercial properties, Assa Abloy's inno- vative RFID lock technology offers smooth-yet-secure access for consumers for even aluminum frames or sliding doors with narrow lock cases. Technology is playing a bigger role than ever in today's designs, as family homes, offices, and commercial spaces embrace the possibilities of the Internet of Things and the convenience of SmartHome connectivity. For entryways, keyless and remote access has opened up a world of new options, explains Greenhill. "We're excited to see new products coming out to address requests from architects and contractors for keyless smartphone access to condominium unit entry doors, both in rental and condo buildings," he explains. "Solutions need to be not only technically capable, and robust for real life use, but also design-savvy." The boxy or expensive product that may be appropriate for a hospital or university is not quite what an interior designer tasked with a high-rise condo is after, nor would a developer sacrifice affordability with unjus- tified added cost. For residential projects, Richelieu Hardware's Dion points to the brand's new Magic Legno, a com- pletely concealed barn-door style hardware and track for wood doors. The unique, robust running system creates the illusion that the door is floating; the hardware can be cut to size and fitted for a wide variety of door widths and thicknesses, and is easily adjustable with soft-closing mechanism. And in the commercial realm, Richelieu introduced the Terno Solo Vetro sliding glass door system – featuring sin- gle sliding doors plus fixed panels – which works well as an office partition, especially because of its dry-glazing clamping shoe that requires no glass drilling or adhesive. Installation and sliding goes off without a hitch. Easy installation is key for modern architectural hardware customers, says Dion. "They want ver- satile systems that can be assembled and retrofit installed on a job site very quickly with minimal tools." Richelieu's Bridge 500 system for sleek, alu- minum-framed doors is a great example: the bottom-running, soft-close sliding door system assembles quickly to create an elegant look. Motorized and magnetic assist sliding systems and concealed hardware are in demand, too, as homeowners seek out effortless, minimalist solutions for their homes. "We are constantly working on investigating new slid- ing systems that fit with current market demands while anticipating future needs," says Dion. As architects push the limits of scale, the hard- ware industry has been keeping pace with new systems that can handle oversized doors, panels, and cabinets. Dormakaba's latest electromagnetic lock designs can hold forces up to 1500 lbs via sin- gle or double-door maglocks, designed for a simple installation process and longevity, while Hettich's TopLine XL sliding door system glides apart in a synchronous, softly cushioned movement with the touch of a hand. Because sliding doors make the most of limited square footage (no need for doors to intrude into a room when open), these top-running door systems have proven themselves as an elegant frontage solution for doors up to 100 kilograms. Particularly wide openings can benefit from this smart hardware, too: for three-door wardrobes, middle doors open intuitively to left or right, cush- ioned in either direction. As functionality improves and design options increase, it's clear that the perfect architectural hardware solution is out there for every project – and whatever it is, it's sure to be silent, sleek, and stylish. A Architectural Hardware CP Distributors_AWARD_0220.indd 1 2/10/20 9:56 AM

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