The future of folding glass walls is here (and before long, everywhere)
Timber Ridge at Talus
Situated between Sammamish Lake and the Cascade Mountains, Timber Ridge at Talus in Issaquah, Washington, is a spectacular senior-living community. The facility promotes a dynamic lifestyle in a comfortable and casual environment. Rice Fergus Miller Architecture & Planning, a leader in institutional and civic building design, conceived a solution that looks more like the Crater Lake Lodge than a retirement home.
One of many spectacular features for residents is the lobby room. It has a 30-foot ceiling and a rustic fireplace with the same mortared stone found on the columns outside the building. Most prominently, a wood- and aluminum-framed NanaWall installation creates connections between the indoors and outdoors – selected for its materials and “high-quality hardware,” says a project designer.
The NanaWall Wood Framed Folding System WD65 with a center pivot unfolds to an enormous terrace with an A-framed roof and sublime views of Cougar and Squak Mountains. The wood trim on the inside of the glass doors harmonizes with the fir finishes found throughout the exterior and interior spaces.
Durability and Aesthetics
According to Rice Fergus Miller Architecture & Planning, led by senior principal and architect Mike Miller, NCARB, the firm was looking for an opening that would allow for an uninterrupted link between the shared spaces of the lobby and the terrace. It also had to integrate flawlessly with the project’s unique “Northwest lodge aesthetic.”
“The Durable Exterior Finish Was Needed to Stand up to Our Weather and the Everyday Use of the Door," According to the Architects. “The Metal-clad Exterior and High-quality Hardware of the NanaWall Met These Requirements.”
Similar to the building itself, NanaWall allowed the use of a wood finish but with an institutional-level, durable metal hybrid frame. This was exactly the “opening solution that would provide a seamless connection from the community lobby space to the large terrace and expansive views of the Cascade Mountains,” according to Andrew Kosusko, who worked on the project for Rice Fergus Miller. “It was also important to find an opening solution with the warmth of a fir interior finish to fully integrate the northwest lodge aesthetic of the interior spaces.”
The beauty of the NanaWall system is the ability to use two the materials; the wood trim coordinates with design finishes but the exterior aluminum provides sustainability. “The durable exterior finish was needed to stand up to our weather and the everyday use of the door,” according to the architects. “The metal-clad exterior and high-quality hardware of the NanaWall met these requirements.”
Healthy Design and Senior Living
The NanaWall opening glass wall also provides residents open views and natural daylight, indispensable in the Pacific Northwest – and proven in evidence-based design (EBD) studies to be vital to the health and outlook of residents in a senior community.
Moreover, the top-hung glass panels provide excellent sound attenuation, separating any festivities on the terrace from activities in the lobby. Once opened, the lobby becomes part of the terrace, with interior and exterior spaces that share many attributes. For example, the fireplace on the inside is duplicated on the opposite side of the wall. The terrace faces west, so residents can view beautiful sunsets whether the NanaWalls are opened or closed.
One of the salient attributes of the WD65 NanaWall is the flexibility it provides. Each panel can be designed up to 43 inches wide, and unlimited pairings are possible. Timber Ridge at Talus utilizes this flexibility: When the wall is closed, residents can still access the terrace with wheel-chair accessible door to the right. It opens separately from the rest of the units.