A Coastal Utopia Becomes One with Its Environment with Opening Glass Walls

By NanaWall Systems, June 7, 2022

NanaWall opening glass walls

Nestled within sand dunes adorned by coastal grasses and driftwood, a contemporary architectural gem stands out amidst its coastal environment with floor-to-ceiling opening glass walls. The homeowners visualized a serene seaside retreat where they could escape the busyness of city life during the weekend and celebrate year-round holidays. Most importantly, the goal was to create a gathering space where family and friends could come together and enjoy a breezy indoor/outdoor experience.

A Vacation Home for the Entire Family

To accommodate large family gatherings, architect Jan Wenzel embraced the idea of minimalism and openness alongside the homeowner’s goal to optimize views and the cool coastal landscape. The ability to fully open the home and extend the available space to the outdoors was capitalized in the main gathering spaces, the kitchen and living room, as well as the master bedroom. Unifying these rooms, a spacious wooden deck offers additional outdoor gathering space for alfresco dining and sunbathing. The ash-colored wood selection for both the deck and building envelope strikingly resembles the driftwood commonly found on the shoreline. Perhaps the most striking of all is the aluminum framed opening glass walls that extend to the flat metal roof and add a stark industrial touch to the overall façade.

folding and sliding opening glass walls

The Need for Weather Performing Solutions

At the core of the project was a sense of biophilic design to truly connect with nature. However, the considerations that came with building a home next to the ocean called for weather-performing and durable solutions. When it came to specifying floor-to-ceiling fenestration, the architect sought dynamic systems that could withstand the high winds, salt air, and moisture that frequent coastal environments. NanaWall systems were the only opening glass walls that checked off every requirement without sacrificing ease of operation and optimized views. To maximize the functionality of the home, folding glass walls and minimal sliding glass walls were specified in every ocean-facing wall.

NanaWall folding glass walls

Optimizing Views with Floor-to-Ceiling Opening Glass Walls

Two six-panel NW Aluminum 840 folding glass walls specified at either side of the kitchen completely open the space to the front and back deck areas. When opened, the 29-foot openings allow for an easily accessible outdoor kitchen as well as seamless transitions between spaces. Minimal sliding glass walls were specified in the living areas facing to optimize 180-degree views of the ocean. The largest system, three panels with a 24-foot width, extends the family room to the deck for additional space and quick indoor/outdoor transitions. No sunset is ever missed. With the slimmest frames in the industry, NW Aluminum 840’s 45 mm frame profile and cero’s 34 mm profile, these systems are the perfect companions to optimize views and maintain similar architectural lines.

minimal sliding glass walls

Folding and Sliding Opening Glass Walls Optimize Functionality

The flexibility of having Generation 4 Folding Glass Walls with minimal cero sliding panels gives way to a versatile living space. Each system was carefully selected based on the needs of each individual room. Whereas the family room needed to optimize views with the largest glass panels available, the kitchen required both minimal sightlines and the ability to completely eliminate solid wall barriers. Both systems also offered the ease of operation for any guest to have the ability to change the space on the fly. Most importantly, the individual innovative features made the NW Aluminum 840 and cero III the ideal systems for this performance-driven environment. Together, they create a unique and awestriking glass box effect.

NanaWall Generation 4 folding glass walls

Generation 4 Folding Glass Walls by NanaWall

Nearly four decades of innovation led to the Generation 4 family of folding glass walls. These design-forward systems feature a lineup of features unique to this product family and unlike others in the industry. The thinnest frames in the market alongside the smoothest operation work in tandem with advanced weather performance for the most versatile and durable opening glass walls. Additionally, these systems are the only folding glass walls featuring FourFold and SixFold panel sets that can stack to the left, right, or center of the opening for greater flexibility and larger opening sizes.

floor-to-ceiling sliding glass walls

Floor-to-Ceiling Minimalism with cero®

Dynamic floor-to-ceiling sliding glass walls offer minimalism at their best with minimal sightlines and more glass for optimal views. Despite their large size, these panels glide on their stainless steel track with ease and with stainless steel rollers gliding above the water table. This is a key feature that allows for low maintenance in harsh environments much like the coast. For this project, the architect specified fixed cero panels at the front, ocean-facing side of the home to take the brunt of the salt-filled strong winds and rain. For the smoothest transitions, both the cero and NW Aluminum 840 systems feature barefoot-friendly floor tracks for quick and uninterrupted thresholds between indoors and outdoors. Almost as if there were no walls at all.

NanaWall glass walls

The NanaWall Difference

NanaWall opening glass walls feature innovative designs that elevate their weather performance in harsh environments. As a Generation 4 system, NW Aluminum 840 not only offers a new level of aesthetics with the slimmest frames available but also an array of distinctive features like the smoothest operation and a patented Bionic Turtle design. This energy-efficient thermal break is dual-purpose and houses the system’s locking rods giving way to the most thermally efficient aluminum framed folding glass wall. Both cero and the NW Aluminum 840 have been independently tested at accredited labs for air, water, structural, operation, and forced entry with excellent results. This provides the homeowners with the peace of mind needed to build this vacation property.

energy efficient glass wall systems

Final Thoughts

At night, the coastal home glows like a lantern amidst the radiant stars in the sky. In the end, the homeowners got exactly what they envisioned and more. The home completely opens to its serene coastal environment thanks to the opening glass walls, optimizing both square footage and maximum immersion with the landscape. An ideal combination of Generation 4 folding glass walls and minimal sliding glass walls allowed for a versatile and customizable space for those special family gatherings and relaxing holidays that the family now enjoys every now and then. All with the sound of ocean waves and dramatic sunsets in the background.

Discover how other homeowners leverage NanaWall opening glass walls in our extensive project gallery!