Redefining Living Spaces: The Alamo ADU and Innovative Generation 4 Aluminum Clad Folding Doors

By NanaWall Systems, January 17, 2024

aluminum clad folding doors

Nestled in the enchanting enclave of Alamo, CA, the Alamo ADU stands as a captivating blend of tradition and modernity, meticulously crafted over 24 months. This 1,200-square-foot masterpiece seamlessly combines contemporary aesthetics with tradition, serving as a testament to the harmonious marriage of architectural brilliance and meticulous craftsmanship. Seeking to add additional private living space to their property, the Alamo homeowners decided to repurpose an underutilized corner of their property and create a dream accessory dwelling unit. At its core, this ADU redefines the paradigm of indoor/outdoor living, enhancing the overall well-being of its occupants through the use of aluminum clad folding doors

ADU with NanaWall folding doors

Architectural Mastery and Craftsmanship

Architect Darren Kelly, in collaboration with Jim Granlund of Artisan Home Builders, brought this ADU to life while paying homage to the Georgian-style roots of the main dwelling. Strategically positioned behind a pre-existing retaining wall, the ADU replaced a neglected basketball court, becoming a natural extension of the main house. Originally conceived as a living space for the homeowner’s adult son, this vision evolved into the idea of a “garden house,” designed to effortlessly blend the son’s contemporary style with the overall ambiance of the property. Infused with inspiration from Mid-Century aesthetics, the ADU boasts fluted pilaster siding which is utilized on the façade of the main home, carefully chosen to establish a visual unity with the traditional Georgian-style estate home. An abundant verdant garden and outdoor space surround the property and strategically Kelly integrates the two with a bold center brick wall that artfully ties the ADU to the landscape. 

NanaWall aluminum clad folding doors

Architectural Synergies Using Mid-Century Influence 

To enhance the connection with the mature gardens and extensive outdoor living spaces of the property, the architect sought to establish deep connections with the large outdoor space by incorporating abundant fenestration and glass, inspired by Mid-Century dwellings such as Eichler homes. Recognizing the potential for flexible use, the architect immediately envisioned specifying a large opening glass wall to harness light and views, making the ADU seamlessly function as both a garden house and a residence for the son. As you step inside, the influence of Mid-Century design becomes apparent with skylights and interior glass components that invite natural light, expand the living space, and embrace the lush surrounding gardens. Glass becomes a functional storyteller, marrying transparency with the charm of a bygone era. The integration of the innovative aluminum clad folding doors achieves a harmonious balance, where the indoors and outdoors coexist, integrating elements of the past while embracing the future. 

Generation 4 aluminum clad folding doors

Flexibility Redefining Accessory Dwelling Units

The aluminum clad folding doors create a functional harmony, transforming daily movements into outdoor excellence. The kitchen spills into an inviting outdoor lounge, the dining area gracefully extends into the garden, and the central brick wall connects the ADU, weaving a timeless narrative that embraces both tradition and contemporary living. Measuring at 19-feet wide and 9-feet tall, the NW Clad 740, the Generation 4 line of aluminum clad folding doors, transforms the ADU into a testament to architectural innovation. Featuring a proprietary feature only offered with Generation 4, the FourFold Panel Set offers unparalleled flexibility in shaping the traffic flow of the living space. The Panel Set option allows the folding panels to fold and stack to the left, right, or center to suit the occupant’s needs. The architect specified this configuration to maximize the functionality throughout the dwelling. Two single-panel swing doors flank the flexible FourFold system, providing additional access points and enhancing the overall functionality of the ADU. The architect emphasizes that “the system operates with unbelievable ease, which is important because it needs to fulfill multiple roles as it participates in the architecture.” The slim frames, the slimmest in the industry, play a pivotal role in connecting occupants with both the architectural aesthetics and the surrounding nature. 

aluminum clad folding door systems

Aluminum Clad Folding Doors: A Catalyst for Biophilic Design

Crafted from spruce wood and elegantly painted black to match the architectural elements and trim throughout, the aluminum clad folding doors were chosen for their worry-free aspects, ensuring durability and peace of mind for the homeowners. Within the Generation 4 line of folding glass walls, the NW Clad 740 system is a transformative architectural statement that seamlessly integrates with the garden, expanding the perception of space within a small area while embodying biophilic principles. Featuring a quadruple laminated cross-grain wood frame, it serves as a conduit for daily living experiences, fostering occupant connectivity to nature through both direct and indirect interactions. The system enhances occupants' well-being by providing the benefits of fresh air, abundant daylight, and a profound connection to nature. Kelly highlights its intuitive ease of operation, emphasizing that “the ability to easily open the great room to the patio more than doubles the area of the great room during most of the year.” This dynamic system adapts effortlessly to the natural rhythm of its surroundings, offering a versatile and immersive living experience. Standing out as a paragon of wood and aluminum integration, the aluminum clad folding doors encapsulate the warmth of sustainably harvested timber on the interior, complemented by the exterior’s durable low-maintenance, and corrosion-resistant aluminum. With architectural versatility, it effortlessly caters to traditional, transitional, and contemporary design aesthetics, making it a holistic solution that not only enriches the living space but also embodies the essence of biophilic design.

ADU with Generation 4 Folding Doors by NanaWall

Final Thoughts  

Aligned seamlessly with California’s stringent energy compliance codes, these aluminum clad folding doors not only elevate visual appeal but also adhere to biophilic principles, effortlessly meeting the demands of contemporary architecture. As expressed by the architect, “the design process of this project didn’t include any special effort to achieve energy code compliance because of the NanaWall system - which is actually remarkable, given the expanse of glass it provides the building envelope.” Serving as a trailblazer in elevated living experiences, Generation 4 transforms spaces by harmonizing tradition with modernity, seamlessly connecting indoor and outdoor realms. The NW Clad 740 emerges as a transformative masterpiece, converting an ADU into a symbol of innovation and elegance that transcends mere dwelling status. With almost four decades of innovation, this system provides a versatile canvas for architects and homeowners, redefining spatial boundaries in residential and commercial settings alike. Generation 4 invites us to experience living in its purest and most sophisticated form, showcasing the boundless potential when architecture and innovative engineering converge harmoniously to reshape the way we inhabit our surroundings. 

Learn how others leverage NanaWall aluminum clad folding doors in their ADU applications on our Residential ADU page!