The future of folding glass walls is here (and before long, everywhere)
West Bloomfield Residence
Derosiers Architects earned a commission to design a new house on Pine Lake, an upscale township in Oakland County, Michigan. Early on, the homeowners presented a specific design request: They hoped to include a conditioned and modern indoor pool, but it had to be open to the outdoors during the summer months.
Simply put, it needed to seamlessly mesh a planned zero-edge pool with their view of the shimmering lake. The solution was clear: The West Bloomfield pool house would receive a vanishing insulated-glass wall, by NanaWall.
Lou DeRosiers, principal at DeRosiers Architects, chose NanaWall for similarly transparent reasons: First, it reliably retracts and closes, with little client effort. Second, it allows for joining the inside space with the Pine Lake shore. Third, the opening allows daylight and fresh air to filter into the room when the walls are open, but when closed the pool room can withstand the harshest of Michigan winters.
Numerous Style and Design Options
Amazingly, the homeowners have the unique ability to swim indoors when snowflakes settle silently onto the patio. During a swim, says DeRosiers, the homeowners can enjoy seeing the snow piled two feet above their extending arms.
Just as important, “NanaWall offered so many options,” DeRosiers says. “We were able to choose the ideal door system based on the style options. It is designed to slide away all summer into a dedicated niche, and the doors all slip towards the niche in one direction.”
DeRosiers has a long history with the NanaWall product line. Five years ago he traveled to Germany with nine other prestigious architects to see NanaWall’s factory. He was “totally blown away by the tests at the absolutely gorgeous plant,” he said. He witnessed windows shot with 100 mph jets of water. (Impressively, not a drop entered through the windows, he recalls.) Consequently, DeRosiers never even considered other competitors for the Pine Lake project, because “NanaWall has the best closing and sealing system of all manufacturers.” DeRosiers should know; he has installed the product many times and will continue doing so.
“NanaWall Has the Best Closing and Sealing System of All Manufacturers.”
The result is a Zen-like oasis that is remarkable for its design. The West Bloomfield pool house has two zero-edge pools; the smaller one is a sauna and the larger one is an “endless pool.” The space is uncluttered, with all of the furniture positioned near the lake.
The pool house and its NanaWall opening jut out from the house in a zigzag pattern. The facade of the building is made out of Wisconsin Fond Du Lac stone. This same stone, laid in the ashlar pattern, was installed in the pool house and on the privacy patio wall, further blurring the lines between indoor and outdoor spaces. Not surprisingly, the patio and pool house floor are mortared with the same tessellated French limestone.
The endless pool uses jets to create the constant current for the homeowners to swim against. “The perimeter is a stainless-steel drain that takes the overflowing water and returns it to the pool, water falling down the golden granite wall,” stated DeRosiers. “We increased the drama by installing LED lights of different colors, which create incandescent effects.” The ceiling was designed with recessed panels made out of a cement epoxy plaster and, like the NanaWall, offers excellent sound attenuation.
NanaWall HSW60 Single Track Sliding System
DeRosiers specified the HSW60 system. Each single track sliding system is divided by a transom frame, creating visual interest. Furthermore, each frame is the same height as the wall waterfall height. All the panels are 1-inch, bronze-tinted low-E glass. This was important given the hot summers and unforgiving Michigan winters. Finally, the single track sliding system contains swing door options, so the homeowners can access their backyard through a single, normal door-swing panel when the glass wall is closed.