Guest Blogger: Will Ruhl from Ruhl Walker Architects Having worked on several cool projects in Hawaii over the last few years, our eyes have really opened up to architectural possibilities that rarely exist in New England. For example, we collaborated with Rhoady Lee Architecture and Design on a new house near the Four Seasons at Hualalai with custom motorized rolling walls of glass and teak (detailed by our own Sandra Baron and Lilly Smith!) that disappeared into lava rock walls, opening virtually every room in the house to trellised lanais, an edge-less pool, lushly landscaped courtyards, and sweet tropical breezes. So, how did we introduce these exotic possibilities to the custom houses we design in New England?

One answer is through bi-folding glass walls from companies like Nanawall. We’ve designed several recent houses that utilize their exceptional technology. Our clients wanted to have large screened porches so they could live outdoors during the spring, summer and fall without the ubiquitous New England mosquitoes and flies, and wondered how they might join those porches to the rest of the house. Voila, we proposed Nanawall doors and turned something that has traditionally been a barrier in older New England houses into an opportunity. Added benefit: makes a great party house even better!

Photos: Peter Vanderwarker

This bi-folding wall of glass and aluminum slides easily to the left, opening up the living/dining space to a large screen porch.

Compared to conventional sliding glass doors, bi-folding wall openings can be much wider within the same unit width.

Living / dining and screen porch become one; ready to entertain!

Who would want to interrupt views like this with conventional doors?!

A twenty-one foot wide Nanawall system for a house under construction in Lincoln, MA; this spring the happy homeowners will be able to combine their living space seamlessly to their new screen porch.

A view of the bi-folding wall from the exterior, showing the factory-finished aluminum clad finish on the exterior, while the interior is natural wood; so many options!

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