project name : Door Gems
location : New York
year of design: 1989
client: Union Hardware Co./ George Ranalli Designs
architect: George Ranalli
associates: Robert Silman Structural Engineer
design team: John Butterworth, Lester Yuen, Ursula Kyle
The Union Hardware Company, a Japanese manufacturer, presented Ranalli Architect with an opportunity to explore mass-production techniques and the relationship between the utility and beauty for architectural hardware, by designing a set of door hardware for the beginning of the twenty-first century. The designs were conceived through a close working relationship with the manufacturer, and the end result succeeded in pushing the parameters of metal casting while remaining within a predetermined budget.
The architectural hardware designs mediate the scale of a building and that of the human hand, which is generally the first part of the body to make physical contact with any building. The door hardware designs provide visual and tangible communication about the spaces, colors, and forms that follow inside the building. Ranalli Architects Door Gems line offers a series of three different handles that represent the various elements of a building. Pendent, is a large push-plate/pull-bar handle, which accommodates the mass of a large entryway without neglecting the occupants. Pendant’s push plate/pull bars are crafted in combined cast aluminum, brushed brass, and stainless steel, and the design ergonomically fit the human grip. Lock-it and Charm are lever handles intended for a variety of relatively smaller sized and scaled interior doors.
After more that a decade of production-line fabrication in Japan, Door Gems are currently manufactured in the United States. Lockit is available as a lever handle made in cast aluminum with a nickel-dip finish through www.georgeranallidesigns.com. Charm and Pendant are available by special order.