Founded on the campus of Stanford University in 2002, the Carnegie Institution’s Global Ecology Center was created to study the interaction between the earth’s various ecosystems.
Given the department’s nature-intensive mission, the presence of three bifold doors at the Center’s perimeter seems appropriate. In the closed position, these 9’-tall glass doors—two of which are 14’ wide while the other is slightly larger—bring natural light into nearby interior workspaces. And when opened, they literally connect the indoors and out, thus bringing researchers a little closer to work they’ve dedicated themselves to. The doors are powered from the topside and equipped with electric photo-eye sensors and 2-button Dead Man switches. The doors were manufactured by Schweiss Doors of Fairfax, MN, and installed by Rudolph & Sletten Contractors of Foster City, CA.
"Great year-round weather in that area so as an ecology center, the University wanted to create an 'open lobby' environment in this building. That effect was important to both staff and researchers working in the facility," pointed out Rich Herrera, Progress Glass Company, San Francisco.
Added Brad Johnson, with Esherick Hornsey Dodge & Davis architectural firm, San Francisco, "A door opening that provided an overhead canopy effect
seemed a better choice for this particular building. Because the Ecology Center hosts visitors from throughout the universe we wanted both visual and
"I did an Internet search for bi-fold doors and found a couple firms offering aluminum-framed doors but cost exceeded our budget. Plus we wondered about the durability of aluminum doors. The Schweiss web site showing their steel-framed doors with a variety of skin options did meet our specs. We used dual-pane glass to give us a curtain-wall effect. We're pleased with the final results even though we had to re-fabricate the latches to meet specific safety codes for the University," noted Johnson.