Disappearing shoji doors, tracks and all. . .
January 26, 2010
As you know, we don’t like to build the same door twice. Thankfully, we keep getting projects that cause us to stop, pause, and think, think, think. Recently, we had a real head-scratcher. The home had a very high angled ceiling, eliminating the possibility of a top-mounted track. A small end pocket had already been built for a folding partition to divide the room that was quite narrow. And did I mention the dramatic ocean view that needed to be unobstructed with any type of installed shoji hardware?
Even after all these years, there I was, standing at the job site thinking, “How are we going to do that?” As the designer can tell you, at first sight, I was rather skeptical. But after some deliberation and sketching, Wren and I came up with four possibilities. And “voila” the shoji screens are now installed, hard-at-work doing their job. The final solution? We revisited an old friend, our telescoping track.
This unique system allows shoji panels to slide out from the end pocket by pulling on the lead shoji panel. Remaining shoji screens follow as all are linked together. To close, the process is reversed; push lead shoji panel back and the rest of the unit slides back to stack neatly one of top of the other. Sounds familiar, right? But here is the cool part — there is no installed track top or bottom that obstructs the view. The entire shoji installation, sliding hardware and all, disappears into the wall pocket.
The fact that everything fit well into that small pre-existing pocket is a small miracle. My point? Sometimes the most impossible situations work out well. Thanks Cindy, for believing in us.
As for today, yes I am looking at another unusual project with high angled ceilings, a tight budget, and wildly different design criteria from the parties involved. Another day, another design puzzle. But I wouldn’t want it any other way; this is what I like to do.
Whatever you’re up to, enjoy your day!