Concealed hinges: The rise of minimalist functionality in doors - Building NZ
Concealed hinges: The rise of minimalist functionality in doors

Concealed hinges: The rise of minimalist functionality in doors

Traditional hinges have been a mainstay throughout homes in New Zealand, visible when both doors are both open and closed — and their ubiquity has meant most of us don’t notice them much. But when concealed hinges are installed, their traditional counterparts become much more noticeable and clunky in comparison.

Words by Nick Forrester

When it comes to functional minimalist design, it’s often the little things that amalgamate and result in the desired architectural impact.

When thinking about minimalism, the usual suspects come to mind: limited colours, simplicity, and the use of concrete, glass, natural materials and light. But it’s also about taking away the distracting and often unnecessary features — like omitting cabinet handles in favour of push-to-open doors, or floating shelves that purposefully hide unsightly brackets.

Another prime example is the emerging trend of concealed door hinges. Traditional hinges have been a mainstay throughout homes in New Zealand, visible when both doors are both open and closed — and their ubiquity has meant most of us don’t notice them much. But when concealed hinges are installed, their traditional counterparts become much more noticeable and clunky in comparison.

“In high-end architecturally designed homes with subtle minimalistic designs, concealed hinges are one of those details that really add to that style,” says Russell Hunter, the general manager of Unique Hardware. “It really elevates the aesthetic of the doors and the space around them.”

The LAMP HES3D concealed hinges have a host of advantages.

The LAMP HES3D hinges: a host of benefits

But of course it’s not just the aesthetics that such products can offer. Unique Hardware’s LAMP HES3D concealed hinges, for example, have a whole host of functional benefits attached to them, boasting a high level of performance that is backed with rigorous testing.

Designed and made in Japan, this range of high-quality products has a variety of different sizes that correspond to differently sized and weighted doors. Some hinges can accommodate for lighter hollow core doors that are around the 12-20kg mark — while others can handle a 100kg door with only two hinges.

“This alone means there is a very wide range of materials that can be used with this particular product,” says Russell. “And with the heavier units, you can even use them on aluminium and steel doors.

“So if you’re doing some really nice internal steel-framed and glazed door, where there is substantial weight, you have the benefit of specific mounting brackets, which will actually accommodate the material of that door.”

And while most of Unique Hardware’s concealed hinges are designed for internal doors, the company also provides products for external applications.

A damper unit can be installed with the hinges to enable soft closing.

Aesthetics plus convenience

One of the most popular and enduring features of these particular hinges is their ability to soft close while remaining a free-swinging door. We are already familiar with soft closing doors as the entrance to apartments, for example, but these are usually self-closing doors as well.

But the LAMP HES3D hinges provide a soft closing option for internal doors that you wouldn’t necessarily want to automatically close behind once you open the door.

“When you open an internal door, most of the time you don’t want it to close automatically behind you — you would prefer to have control over whether it’s open or closed,” says Russell. “But if it’s a 100kg door, for example, you also wouldn’t want it to slam with the wind, either.

“So free-swinging, soft closing doors are perfect in this situation.”

For these installations, a damper unit is fitted into the frame, which will decelerate the door when it’s at 15 degrees for a soft close — distinct from a soft closing cabinet, for example, which will start to automatically close at angles lower than 90 degrees.

The hinges have also been rigorously tested: “Some of them have been subject to a 300,000 cycle test, which you know, is quite significant. Depending on the situation, you might open an internal door maybe a dozen times per day, so this extrapolates into significant years of use.”

This demonstrates the significant functionality and convenience of the LAMP HES3D concealed hinges, which, when combined with the aesthetic value of the lack of visible hinges, makes for a compelling addition to any modern home.

“So it's really important when you're spending good money on a product, that you have something which is going to perform. These hinges do, for a long time.”

Learn more about Unique Hardware and its offerings.

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