Durham County Public Library

Durham County Public Library
Durham County Public Library

Durham County Main Library - Durham, NC

A beautiful example of modern and sustainable architecture, the main branch of the Durham County Public Library opened in 2020, and ActivWall is honored to have two Horizontal Folding Door units in this award-winning facility. 

Designed by VINES Architecture and constructed by Skanska and Holt Brothers, the LEED Gold certified library is 85,000 square feet with four levels.  

The Durham County Main Branch library has more than 179,000 items in it’s collection. In addition to traditional library offerings, the facility also provides unique resources for the community, including a recording studio, a sensory calming area, a business incubator space, and a lush green rooftop terrace. 

Straircase in Durham Public Library

Guests entering the lobby from Liberty Street are first greeted by an expansive set of oak-stained steps.

Off to the right of the staircase are the library’s café and an upper-level entrance to the 300-seat auditorium. In this space, an ActivWall Horizontal Folding Door is used to connect the spaces. 

The eight-panel unit on this floor measures 316″ wide by 116″ high and features a top-supported carriage for smooth gliding and a low-profile saddle sill on the floor. 

According to Main Branch Library Director Claudia Alemán, “the doors create a welcoming space for the auditorium and café area.” 

The unit also adds great functionality to the facility; she explained, “if we are to have a big program and want everyone to hear what’s going on in the auditorium, we can open up the doors, so everyone is welcome.”  

The ActivWall Horizontal Folding Doors can be partially open for small events, and when fully open, all eight panels fold away into a recessed pocket.

Upstairs on the third floor, a smaller five-panel unit is used to connect the library’s STEAM Innovation Lab to a smaller auditorium with amphitheater-style seating. The door for this space measures 204″ wide by 121″ high. 

Durham County Main Library Level 2 Horizontal Folding Door

Gracey Gordon, STEAM Services Manager, noted it was very helpful for library programs to have flexible space. She said, “As the door opens up, we have space [in the auditorium] for patrons to sit and then float into the lab where we have our equipment set up.” 

Both door units have brushed chrome handles and are custom-finished in a metallic powder coat to match the rest of the doors and windows in the facility. 

Since designing the Durham County Main Library, VINES Architecture has received several awards and recognitions for the project including the AIA NC Merit Award: Design, the AIA Triangle Merit: Design, and the NOMA Award: Design.

See the Horizontal Folding Doors in Action

Auditorium Looking Toward ActivWall
ActivWall at Auditorium Entrance

Acknowledgments: Story by Jennifer Doss. Photography by Jennifer Doss, Rob Connelly, and Mark Herboth. Video edited by Jennifer Doss. Narration by Kacel Witcher. Design by VINES Architecture. Construction by Skanska and Holt Brothers. Public Art by Volkan Alkanoglu | DESIGN LLC. Interior Design by Kaitlin Phelps. Building Engineering by Durham County: Peri Manns, and Brenda Bright. Windows by SPS Corporation and Horizontal Folding Doors by ActivWall. Special thank you to Claudia Alemán, Gracey Gordon, Sara Stephens, and Daniel Davis of the Durham County Main Branch Library.

Featured Projects

Durham County Public Library

Durham County Public Library

A beautiful example of modern and sustainable architecture, the main branch of the Durham County Public Library opened in 2020, and ActivWall is honored to have two Horizontal Folding Door units in this award-winning facility.

Read More »
A 30-Foot Wide ActivWall

A 30-Foot Wide ActivWall

One of our largest Horizontal Folding Doors ever produced, this 30-foot wide, 10-panel unit was custom designed for a homeowner near Richmond, Virginia. This addition to the home will be perfect for entertaining and enjoying indoor-outdoor living!

Read More »

A Garage to Office Renovation in PA

PA Gas Strut Window
Gas Strut Window in PA

A Garage to Office Renovation in PA

In early 2020 when the pandemic began shutting down the nation and world, Kelli and Mike Zban of Landisville, Pennsylvania saw an opportunity to convert their underused single car garage into a home office for remote work and a hub for entertaining. The garage is a separate space from the rest of the house and has its own entrance. 

Kelli said, “Our house is small and has always had to perform more than one task.” While designing the multi-purpose space, she saw a gas strut window on an HGTV makeover and thought it would be a good fit for their project. Kelli found the ActivWall Gas Strut Window online, and the Zbans were connected with a local ActivWall dealer in their area, Overhead Door of Lancaster

Kelli and Mike worked with Jim Adam at Overhead Door of Lancaster to order a custom built 96″ wide and 36″ high ActivWall Gas Strut Window for the space. The American-made window is constructed with thermally broken aluminum, insulated glass, and a raised sill to make it incredibly energy efficient. They chose to add ActivWall’s optional nailing flange to the product for easy installation and the window is finished with white powder coating and a two-point locking system. 

Gas Strut Window in PA
Gas Strut Window in PA

Kelli’s go-to contractor Cliff H. and his helpers Jerry C. and Andy Mumma installed the Gas Strut Window. Kelli said, “My contractors are fearless! They had never seen nor heard of this type of gas strut window before but took on the job and did great installing it.” 

The window faces out onto the garden and patio area, complete with a fire pit for cool evenings, and the sturdy gas struts on the window allow it to open up and out 90 degrees to create a perfect serving bar. 

Kelli and Mike hired Indoor City of Lancaster, PA, to install a counter under the window that serves as a sitting area inside and an entertaining area outside. They worked with designer Jessica Tyson to select a hard marble for this space called Fantasy Brown. 

Kelli said, “After 5, the workday is over, and we love the idea that we can travel outside to a ‘bar’ without incurring any risk (at this time of COVID) to enjoy our favorite beverages!” She added, “My husband is a cyclist and has enjoyed a few after-ride drinks with fellow riders.” 

The Zbans noted that this office renovation has provided their small house with entertainment opportunities beyond the face value. Kelli explained, “The gas strut window transforms [the space] from day to evening, and we can even sit inside and watch the drizzle while the window is open.”   

Later on, the Zbans plan to install a pull-down projection screen on the built-in shelving wall for movies. Truly a versatile space, this renovation project has created many opportunities for togetherness and enjoying the outdoors. 

Acknowledgments: 
Story by Jennifer Doss. Photos by Kelli Zban. Technical Guidance by Nikki Compton. Gas Strut Window by ActivWall. Featured Dealer – Overhead Door of Lancaster. Marble by Indoor City.

Servery Window

Highlighted Projects

Durham County Public Library

Durham County Public Library

A beautiful example of modern and sustainable architecture, the main branch of the Durham County Public Library opened in 2020, and ActivWall is honored to have two Horizontal Folding Door units in this award-winning facility.

Read More »
A 30-Foot Wide ActivWall

A 30-Foot Wide ActivWall

One of our largest Horizontal Folding Doors ever produced, this 30-foot wide, 10-panel unit was custom designed for a homeowner near Richmond, Virginia. This addition to the home will be perfect for entertaining and enjoying indoor-outdoor living!

Read More »

A 30-Foot Wide ActivWall

A 30-Foot Wide ActivWall
A 30-Foot Wide ActivWall

A 30-Foot Wide ActivWall

One of our largest Horizontal Folding Doors ever produced, this 30-foot wide, 10-panel unit was custom designed for a homeowner near Richmond, Virginia. This addition to the home will be perfect for entertaining and enjoying indoor-outdoor living!

Project Highlights

Durham County Public Library

Durham County Public Library

A beautiful example of modern and sustainable architecture, the main branch of the Durham County Public Library opened in 2020, and ActivWall is honored to have two Horizontal Folding Door units in this award-winning facility.

Read More »
A 30-Foot Wide ActivWall

A 30-Foot Wide ActivWall

One of our largest Horizontal Folding Doors ever produced, this 30-foot wide, 10-panel unit was custom designed for a homeowner near Richmond, Virginia. This addition to the home will be perfect for entertaining and enjoying indoor-outdoor living!

Read More »

Custom Kitchen Window at Anchors Bend

Gunn Residence
Gunn Residence

Custom Kitchen Window at Anchors Bend

When Channing Glover of Glover Design LLC and Annah Norris of Isabella Grace Refined Homes began collaborating on a modern farmhouse-style build in Wilmington, North Carolina, they knew that they wanted a way to open up the kitchen to the adjacent screened porch for entertaining.  

Channing discovered the ActivWall Gas Strut Window while researching the custom-built home in the Anchors Bend neighborhood. It was a perfect solution. He said, “[the window] allows for pass-thru to outdoor dining in the screen room.”

Every single ActivWall product is custom designed and manufactured in Martinsville, Virginia. Hence, Channing and Annah were able to request the exact dimensions, hardware, and colors that they needed for this unique space. 

Gunn Residence
gas strut window kitchen

Annah ordered a 60″ wide by 48″ high Gas Strut Window for the kitchen finished in dual-tone. The interior of the window is white powder-coat to match the cabinetry, tile, and countertops. The exterior of the window is finished in black powder-coat to match the aesthetic of the screened room. 

They chose to have the window glazed in Hurricane/Impact-resistant glass due to the home’s coastal location and selected a raised sill for additional weather protection. 

When the Gas Strut Window is open, the homeowner can converse with guests on the porch and pass dishes out to the table. After the meal is over, the window can be closed with a push from the outside or the inside using ActivWall’s optional pull hook accessory. 

 This is a perfect place to enjoy a summer evening on the coast!

Gunn Residence
Gunn Residence
Gunn Residence
Gunn Residence
Gunn Residence
gas strut window kitchen

Acknowledgments: 
Story by Jennifer Doss. Photography by T.J. Drechsel, shared with permission from Channing Glover. Home by Glover Design LLC and Isabella Grace Refined Homes.

Highlighted Projects

Durham County Public Library

Durham County Public Library

A beautiful example of modern and sustainable architecture, the main branch of the Durham County Public Library opened in 2020, and ActivWall is honored to have two Horizontal Folding Door units in this award-winning facility.

Read More »
A 30-Foot Wide ActivWall

A 30-Foot Wide ActivWall

One of our largest Horizontal Folding Doors ever produced, this 30-foot wide, 10-panel unit was custom designed for a homeowner near Richmond, Virginia. This addition to the home will be perfect for entertaining and enjoying indoor-outdoor living!

Read More »

Maryland Kitchen Renovation

Suehle Horizontal Folding Window
Suehle Window

Maryland Kitchen Renovation

When homeowner Sherri Suehle of Maryland began dreaming of a kitchen renovation, she knew that she wanted to include a Horizontal Folding Window, also known as a bi-fold window, in the project. 

Sherri used the program Solidworks to design a model of her new kitchen and how she wanted it to look. In her plan, she incorporated a four-panel window over the kitchen sink that opened up to the adjacent sun porch with two left-folding and two right-folding panels. 

She reached out to ActivWall to learn more about our Horizontal Folding Window, and the sales team guided her through the quoting and ordering process to ensure that she would have the perfect size unit.

Rendering of Suehle Kitchen

Sherri said, “Any questions or concerns I had were always quickly addressed. I couldn’t be happier.” 

Her Horizontal Folding Window was custom-designed to fit an 88.56″ wide by 45.06″ high opening in her kitchen. The thermally broken aluminum frame was finished in a bronze powder-coat finish with a raised sill and a two-point locking system. 

Sherri chose to use a black walnut live edge bar for the exterior side of the window, and the dark rich color of the bronze finish complements the walnut beautifully. 

According to Sherri, “I absolutely love my window! When the window is open, I can see into the sun porch and out in the yard.” She added that she can also enjoy watching “horses from the farm behind us.”

This project created an open and welcoming space for family and friends to gather in the Suehle home.

See it in Action

Suehle Window
Suehle Horizontal Folding Window

Acknowledgments:
Story by Jennifer Doss. Photos by Sherri Suehle and Rob Connelly. Video by Rob Connelly.

Highlighted Projects

Durham County Public Library

Durham County Public Library

A beautiful example of modern and sustainable architecture, the main branch of the Durham County Public Library opened in 2020, and ActivWall is honored to have two Horizontal Folding Door units in this award-winning facility.

Read More »
A 30-Foot Wide ActivWall

A 30-Foot Wide ActivWall

One of our largest Horizontal Folding Doors ever produced, this 30-foot wide, 10-panel unit was custom designed for a homeowner near Richmond, Virginia. This addition to the home will be perfect for entertaining and enjoying indoor-outdoor living!

Read More »

A Celebration of Mid-Century Modern

A Celebration of Mid-Century Modern Design

Greensboro, North Carolina, is home to an incredible expression of mid-century modern function and style known as the Thomas Edgar Sikes, Jr. house.

Designed for one of the area’s most prominent families by Jaroslav Jan “JJ” Kabatnik and built by Gene Gulledge, the 1958 house was renovated in 2020 by Jeff Varner of Keller Williams and Hage Group International, under the direction of Preservation Greensboro

After finding and purchasing the home, Varner spent more than a year researching the history of the property and consulting with modern home experts. He published his findings on a website to share the history of this notable property with future generations. 

According to Varner, “Mid-century modern architecture in its bold designs, radical expressions and focus on geometry and function emerged as a protest in the dust of devastating war. It is a revolt against stuffy traditions, breaking free from oppression as it embraces new, optimistic and innovative ways of life.”

One feature he incorporated into the renovation of the 3,150 square-foot, three-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath home is an ActivWall Horizontal Folding Door manufactured in Martinsville, Virginia.

The custom five-panel door measures 176″ wide by 100.25″ high and is finished in black powder-coat with a U-Channel sill. The timeless style of this product and multiple finish options allow it to fit in with almost any architectural style. 

ActivWall’s Horizontal Folding Door is made of thermally broken aluminum with insulated glass for high energy efficiency. It is used to open up an extension of the living room to an adjacent screened porch, both of which were added to the home after the initial construction. 

In his research Varner learned that Kabatnik designed the Prairie Style home with great consideration given to the use of space.

Varner noted, “From its giant open living spaces extending out from the hallmark Frank Lloyd Wright center hearth, the compression of the kitchen and bedrooms help explain Kabatnik’s intention that these are not areas where you should spend your family’s valuable time.”

He added, “You organically find yourself drawn into the home’s open spaces where you can entertain, share, teach, learn and grow in the company of others.” This is certainly a wonderful home for family and friends to enjoy. 

Disclaimer: The ActivWall Horizontal Folding Door is not motorized. It appears automated in this clip through video editing. 

Acknowledgments:
Story by Jennifer Doss with historical information provided by Jeff Varner. Photos and video by Jordan Younce, used with permission from Jeff Varner and Hage Group International. Property staged by Showhomes of the Triad. Natural and engineered stone surfaces by Marble Granite World

Additional Resources:
Overview of Restoration Efforts – Preservation Greensboro.

Highlighted Projects

Durham County Public Library

Durham County Public Library

A beautiful example of modern and sustainable architecture, the main branch of the Durham County Public Library opened in 2020, and ActivWall is honored to have two Horizontal Folding Door units in this award-winning facility.

Read More »
A 30-Foot Wide ActivWall

A 30-Foot Wide ActivWall

One of our largest Horizontal Folding Doors ever produced, this 30-foot wide, 10-panel unit was custom designed for a homeowner near Richmond, Virginia. This addition to the home will be perfect for entertaining and enjoying indoor-outdoor living!

Read More »

Sun Porch in Moncure, NC

Sun Porch in Moncure, NC

When this Moncure, North Carolina homeowner wanted a way to open up the space between her kitchen and screened-in sun porch, the team at Dunning Custom Homes knew the perfect solution. They ordered a custom-designed Gas Strut Window from ActivWall in Martinsville, Virginia.

John Lucas Dunning of Dunning Custom Homes explained, “Seamless indoor-outdoor living is something we try to incorporate into all of our projects and the Gas Strut Window was the perfect solution”

The unit is made of thermally broken aluminum with insulated Low E 270 glass. The frame measures 72″ wide by 44″ high and is finished in white powder coating with no sill. 

ActivWall Gas Strut Windows open from the inside with a gentle push to connect the two spaces. When open, the homeowner can use the window as a serving area and converse with guests on the sun porch while she cooks. 

When she is ready to close the window, the homeowner can step out the adjacent door to give it a push from the outside or use ActivWall’s optional pull hook to close it from the inside. 

According to John, “Working with ActivWall was simple and easy and I would recommend them to any contractor interested in improving their project, both functionally and aesthetically.”

See a Gas Strut Window in Action

Acknowledgments: 
Story by Jennifer Doss
Photography by Laura Fuelleman, © 2021 ShowSpaces Photography and provided by Dunning Custom Homes
Video edited by Rob Connelly and Produced by Jennifer Doss.

Highlighted Projects

Durham County Public Library

Durham County Public Library

A beautiful example of modern and sustainable architecture, the main branch of the Durham County Public Library opened in 2020, and ActivWall is honored to have two Horizontal Folding Door units in this award-winning facility.

Read More »
A 30-Foot Wide ActivWall

A 30-Foot Wide ActivWall

One of our largest Horizontal Folding Doors ever produced, this 30-foot wide, 10-panel unit was custom designed for a homeowner near Richmond, Virginia. This addition to the home will be perfect for entertaining and enjoying indoor-outdoor living!

Read More »

Rooftop Veranda in Danville, Virginia

Rendering of The Bee's Rooftop Veranda set up for a special event.

Rooftop Veranda in Danville, Virginia

At the corner of Patton Street and North Union Street in the River District of Danville, Virginia, sits a stately building that housed the Danville Bee newspaper from 1921 to the 1970s. Today that location is an upscale boutique hotel with a beautiful rooftop veranda that features an ActivWall Horizontal Folding Door.

After the press moved to a larger, more modern location in the ’70s, the Danville Bee merged with the Danville Register to become known today as the Danville Register & Bee. The grand stone building stood vacant for more than 40 years until it caught the attention of Ed Walker, a developer from Roanoke, Virginia, who had an incredible vision in mind. Ed and his team bought the building in 2018 and began restoring it.

In November of 2020, Marshall Hotels & Resorts opened The Bee, a 47-suite urban boutique-style hotel that tastefully blends high style and history for business travelers and vacationers to enjoy.

The Bee hotel sign
Historic Spiral Staircase in The Bee hotel

The developers, architects, and designers involved preserved as much of the historic property possible by incorporating the elaborate portico, original wood floors, an original spiral staircase, and historical photographs into their designs for the boutique hotel. 

Rooms at The Bee have modern amenities and take their cues from the style pages. They feature sleek contemporary furnishings, warm wood finishes, rich textures, and a dash of shimmer.

The Bee Hotel Lobby

The undeveloped rooftop of the building at this location presented an opportunity to add a unique feature to The Bee – a rooftop suite and veranda. The veranda offers entertaining space and scenic views of Danville’s thriving River District.

Working with the staff at Piedmont Glass, who handled all of the property’s commercial aluminum windows and doors, ActivWall designed and manufactured a custom six-panel Horizontal Folding Door to fit a 195″ wide by 86″ high opening between the suite and veranda.

The design of the ActivWall Horizontal Folding system allows it to be used as a single outswing door, a set of double outswing doors, or you can open all the panels for full access to the suite. 

Roger Adkins and Jason Doak of Piedmont Glass had previously heard of ActivWall products from a fellow contractor and they took a tour of the Martinsville, Virginia production facility to learn more.

Later on, when Roger and Jason learned that The Bee’s developers were interested in a folding door unit for this project, they knew exactly where to turn for a high-quality, American-made product. 

See the Horizontal Folding Door in Action

ActivWall Saddle Sill

The custom ActivWall door designed for The Bee is made of thermally broken aluminum in a black powder-coat finish with insulated Low E gray-tinted glass and a saddle sill.

According to Roger, “Our experience with ActivWall was great. The sales team was very knowledgable about the products and the installation team was very professional.” He added, “when the unit arrived it fit perfectly, so we were very pleased with the whole process.”

Since completing this project, Piedmont Glass has become an authorized ActivWall Reseller and Installer.

Carter Ferrell, VP of Engineering for ActivWall, said, “It was a pleasure to be part of the revitalization effort for this beautiful building and we look forward to working with Piedmont Glass on additional projects in the future.”

Interior View of the Rooftop Suite

The Bee Portico

Portico with Terra-Cotta Art and Newsboy Figurine

Breakfast and Gathering Area for The Bee

Highlighted Projects

Durham County Public Library

Durham County Public Library

A beautiful example of modern and sustainable architecture, the main branch of the Durham County Public Library opened in 2020, and ActivWall is honored to have two Horizontal Folding Door units in this award-winning facility.

Read More »
A 30-Foot Wide ActivWall

A 30-Foot Wide ActivWall

One of our largest Horizontal Folding Doors ever produced, this 30-foot wide, 10-panel unit was custom designed for a homeowner near Richmond, Virginia. This addition to the home will be perfect for entertaining and enjoying indoor-outdoor living!

Read More »

High School Folding Doors Salina, KS

folding doors at a high school
folding doors at a high school

Commercial high school folding doors in Salina, Kansas create a unique and functional space for students in the writing center.

We received information on these commercial high school folding doors from our Kansas dealer, WestPro Construction, in 2016. After reviewing the architect’s drawings, we determined the design concept would not work. We then worked with our dealer, who worked with the architect, to find an appropriate solution that would work.

Through collaboration with the other members on this project, ActivWall was able to design a 6 panel, floor mounted, bi-folding unit, next to 3 fixed panels, with an operable door. The concrete slab floor was not thick enough to support an ActivWall structural sill, so a low profile sill was used for the floor track. 

The dark bronze finish matches the rest of the modern aesthetic of the space. These horizontal folding doors allow students to have a unique space to hang out at. Also, the writing center is able to have a quiet space to tutor students, while not feeling closed off from the rest of the high school. 

girl in writing center at high school
Durham County Public Library

Durham County Public Library

A beautiful example of modern and sustainable architecture, the main branch of the Durham County Public Library opened in 2020, and ActivWall is honored to have two Horizontal Folding Door units in this award-winning facility.

Read More »

Relevant Links:

Facebook Post: Salina High School

Twitter Post: Salina High School

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Folding Door Center Club, Baltimore MD

Folding Door Center Club
Folding Door Center Club

Horizontal folding door at Center Club in the Transamerica Tower in Baltimore, Maryland opens up the main dining area. 

This horizontal folding door was installed into Center Club, inside the Transamerica Tower in Baltimore, Maryland. The club’s location is on the 16th floor, which overlooks Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. The folding door partitions off the ballroom/dining area from the Center Club’s lobby, therefore allowing for a private room, or an open space. This room is used for conferences, mitzvah’s, and receptions, in addition to  many more special events.

The center-folding, wood unit is painted to match the aesthetic of the room and also provide consistency between the Center Club rooms. Besides being a beautiful space, the panic hardware in the folding door meets the club’s functionality requirements. 

Folding Door Center Club Overlook
Folding Door Center Club
Durham County Public Library

Durham County Public Library

A beautiful example of modern and sustainable architecture, the main branch of the Durham County Public Library opened in 2020, and ActivWall is honored to have two Horizontal Folding Door units in this award-winning facility.

Read More »
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