The Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh has reopened following a £17.6m restoration project and GEZE UK is nowhere to be seen – as its automatic operators have been completely hidden from view.
During the first major refurbishment in the gallery's 120-year history, architects Page and Park designed two internal entrances in which the automatic operators would be completely invisible and specialist façade company Charles Henshaw & Sons turned to GEZE UK to help them achieve the impossible.
Two bi-parting sliding all-glass doors were fitted at each entrance, together with two bespoke Slimdrive SL automatic operators which were adapted to ensure they could be completely hidden from view. Designed and assembled at GEZE UK’s headquarters, the modified operators allowed the doors to slide in between the steel C sections, so the doors could disappear into the gap in the steelwork. This creates the impression that the doors magically slide into the wall, as well as creating the maximum possible opening width in the space available.
Part of GEZE’s popular Slimdrive range, the operators are just 7cm high and have been designed and tested to meet the requirements of all relevant standards and regulations, including Building Bulletin 93, Approved Documents B and M, as well as assisting with the vigorous demands of the Equality Act.
Graham Chung, Sales Director at Edinburgh based façade specialists, Charles Henshaw said: “We were delighted with the overall effect that we were able to achieve using the Slimdrive SLs. You really can’t see the operator at all and it’s a magical effect that adds to the atmosphere of this magnificent building. We needed a product that could be easily hidden and a partner that we could trust to deliver a reliable, safe and stylish solution for this prestigious and high profile project – GEZE UK was the ideal choice.”
GEZE UK’s operations director Simon Bowden said: “The Scottish National Portrait Gallery is part of Edinburgh’s architectural history and this refurbishment is a delicate blend of tradition and minimalism. By hiding the operators and sliding the doors into the wall, we achieved both an amazing visual effect, but also provided the biggest opening width possible to meet the museum’s safety, footfall and access needs.”