Creative door solutions
When developers working on a complete refurbishment of a Victorian mansion in the heart of south Wales needed to source suitable doors for the courtyard area, they called on GRM to provide advice and products that could be delivered within a limited time frame to keep the project on schedule.
GRM is a family business based in Llantrisant in south Wales, just a short drive from Cardiff. As a Rehau customer for 20 years, GRM fabricates a full range of Agila doors, including multi-fold, Passivhaus, and the Agila sliding door.
In September 2017, GRM was contacted by local developer David Edwards, who was refurbishing the nearby Lanelay Hall into a five-star boutique hotel with 17 bedrooms, a gym, sauna, hot tub and heated outdoor swimming pool. The developer needed to source doors for the rear of the building, where the accommodation and a gym both backed on to a private courtyard and enclosed pool area.
Richard Gambling, managing director at GRM, said: “The developer was really struggling to find a door solution for the property, and other suppliers weren’t coming up with a good product offer, or were quoting lead times of up to five weeks, which would send the project completely off track. We have a long-standing relationship with the builder on the project, so he asked me to go over and see what GRM might be able to do.”
The developer wanted doors to open out from the pool onto the courtyard. What they wanted didn’t match with the openings they had, and it would have also been in contrast to the doors they had in mind for the gym on the other side of the courtyard. The building’s refurbishment had been very sympathetically done, and wherever possible the original style and features had been preserved, so whichever doors they specified would need to offer both traditional style and modern functionality.
“Having studied architecture at university and now with over 20 years’ experience in the design and manufacture of windows and doors, I felt I was well placed to think of some alternative solutions for the project,” Richard said. “We discussed some ideas and I took some measurements and came up with an installation that they liked – and better still, we could deliver it quickly.”
Using the Agila multi-fold door system, Richard designed an installation that would create a strong connection between the hall and the outdoor area. The Agila multi-fold offers narrow sight lines when closed, and a completely unobstructed view when fully opened.
Compatible with Rehau’s Total70 ancillary products, the doors feature duel compression seals to provide the best possible weather performance and a thermally broken threshold to reduce heat loss and the chance of condensation gathering on the inside. The doors come with a full range of glazing options, including triple glazing for maximum thermal efficiency.
As well as the Agila multi-fold doors, the installation at Lanelay Hall also includes Rehau’s sliding doors, which open from the pool area into the courtyard, allowing the two to feel as one during warm periods. The Agila sliding doors offer large span patio and entrance door options which create a feeling of openness in any room, and can achieve a PAS24 security rating. GRM offers the Agila sliding doors on a dual track and the new triple track, which delivers three-, four- or six-pane options opening from left, right or the centre.
“To complete the look, and ensure the modern doors didn’t look out of place in the Victorian building, we integrated the PVC doors into bespoke timber screens to fill the stone arched opening,” Richard said. “This was opposed to leaving the PVCU white, which would be in contract to the rest of the glazing. The doors were sprayed smooth anthracite grey using Acryl II paint. This gave a flatter, painted timber style look – similar to the hall’s original windows.
“We are certainly not the biggest manufacturer of PVCU windows and doors, but where we excel is working with a client to develop bespoke solutions that bring a building to life. Normally we work with trade installers and other manufacturers, so we don’t often get to work on the specification side or see the product in situ. I think what we’ve achieved with Lanelay Hall is very special and we hope that its guests will enjoy the doors for many years to come.”
Mark Collins, area sales manager from Rehau, said: “What Rehau offers is the building blocks for a great installation, and with fabricators like GRM adding some skill, imagination and technical excellence to our products, the results can be truly outstanding.”