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The story of doors: design and application

Evidence that, since the beginning of civilization, doors played an important role in human history can be seen throughout the oldest, largest and historically the most important cultures around the world. Do you want to know more?

The complete history of doors | PIRNAR

Through history, people have used doors of various shapes and sizes. A door is a barrier between the outside and the inside. What is more, a door is the passage to the exterior, a demarcation between the private and public, foreign and domestic etc.

Pascal Dibie, a renowned French ethnologist and professor of ethnology at the Paris Diderot University, compiled an interesting book on doors where he attempted to define the phenomenon of the mundaneness of the door that people pass through four to five hundred times a day, and the paradox that, regardless of the commonness of passing from one room to another, we continue to go to great lengths to make doors as innovative and as complex as possible. To Pascal Dibie, a door is not noncommittal, but instead represent a fundamental and eminent philosophical question of inside and outside, as well as an issue of culture.

Doors through time – from Mesopotamia to present day

In the beginning, when humans were still nomads and sought only modest temporary shelters on their pursuit of food, we hardly had a need for entry doors. The need for an entrance arose only after the peoples of the world chose to settle.

Evidence that, since the beginning of civilization, doors played an important role in human history can be seen throughout the oldest, largest and historically most important cultures around the world. Namely, the mighty city of Babylon, the capital of Ancient Babylonia in southern Mesopotamia between the Euphrates and Tigris, was famous for the monumental door in the city walls, measuring 28 metres in height and 11 metres in width. Can you imagine how exceptional the door must have seemed to the city’s inhabitants, and the awe that they instilled in those passing through?

Ancient Rome was also famous for its extraordinary defensive walls that are said to have also included as many as 37 doors, as well as triumphal arches and medieval drawbridges, functioning simultaneously as doors and bridges. The ritual of passing through a door, the delimitation of “ours” and “theirs”, and lastly also the authority (or prohibition) to enter, have held an important symbolic meaning already in Antiquity.

Of course, the history of doors also extends into Ancient Egypt. Preserved Ancient Egyptian paintings portray the door architecture used in those times. Initially, a door was made up of a hinged piece of wood, while the design was becoming increasingly intricate. The development of cities resulted in the need for city gates; this brought along also the need for protection, resulting in the birth of gate guards even before the invention of the lock.

The invention of the lock was followed by the development of doorknockers and later also the doorbell. Ancient doors were most often made from wood or stone, or even bronze. All across Europe, archaeologists discovered bronze doors, while already in Ancient Greece and Rome, different types of doors were produced, including single doors, double doors, sliding and even folding doors.

In Europe, the oldest discovered door was made out of wood. It was excavated by archaeologists in a dig near Zürich, Switzerland. It was well preserved and estimated to be approx. 5,000 years old.

As time progressed, natural materials in the production of doors became supplanted along with traditional hardware and keys, which were replaced by electronic locking systems and other modern technology. Today, exterior doors in residential buildings have become real-life impenetrable barriers preventing entry to unwanted visitors, offering protection from external factors such as temperature changes and noise.

The main role and function of entry doors

Without a trace of doubt, it can be asserted that an entry door is also the benchmark of development as well as stylistic and architectural trends and other historic changes.

Throughout history, however, the main function of entry doors has not changed until this very day: to protect, restrict or permit entry and to provide for privacy. It has to be acknowledged that entry doors have always been not only an important element of protection, but also an aesthetic and decorative component. And we believe this will never change.

The symbolism of front doors through history

An entry door has always held an important symbolic meaning. Namely, an entry door is the first and most basic boundary between us and the outside. It brings us together, or sets us apart. It is a demarcation between the known and the unknown, between them and us.

In the past, a meticulously selected entry door aimed to invoke a grandiose sensation – think of castle and mansion entry doors, as well as palaces, basilicas and cathedrals. Similarly, today’s entry doors through their durability, splendour, sophisticated technology and refined design constitute the immovable barrier between our own personal space and the outside world. This historic fact, which has been preserved in entirety, simply cannot be denied. It is easiest to impress and inspire visitors with a door of large dimensions, crafted from select materials and made with exquisite attention to details.

Even today, we like to show off with a prestigious entry door that impress passers-by and visitors, emanating a sense of power and safety, and giving the property special value. We are well aware of this at Pirnar. That is why we have developed a number of innovative designer, prestigious entry doors that will be the envy of passers-by as well as your guests.

Solid wood doors in ancient history

Solid wood doors were first used in fortresses and fortifications. Historical sources mention solid wooden entrances. These monumental doors were massive both in terms of size and weight and had to be opened and closed by several people, sometimes even with the help of tools. Such large and heavy doors were necessary not only to withstand the onslaught of attackers – despite their size, doors remained the weakest element of fortifications – but also to inspire awe, and as a testimony to the greatness of the people and of the rulers behind them.

Today, particularly in private homes, individuals tend to opt for large solid wood entrances based on similar reasons – to impress visitors and to fend off burglars with an impenetrable entrance, not to mention the sensation of luxury and uniqueness of solid doors. Thanks to modern technology and advances in the production of solid doors, their protection no longer requires an army of soldiers or lackeys. Instead, a modern solid wood door will open completely automatically, without even a single touch.

The modern history of Pirnar luxury entry doors

Pirnar was born in 1968, when the family workshop was established. Today an internationally acclaimed enterprise, Pirnar is known worldwide as one of the most innovative entry door manufacturers with a sales network extending throughout Europe, the US and even the UAE. Pirnar is the leading European innovator in the entry door sector offering the most modern and prestigious exterior door models. All Pirnar entry doors are hand-made and feature unparalleled aesthetics, combining traditional artisanry and state-of-the-art technology.

Luxury entry doors by Pirnar are among the most recognised exterior doors in the world. Meticulously designed Pirnar entry doors are available in different dimensions, colours and finishes. The OneTouch collection is the most personalized entrance in the world, featuring concealed handles only visible and usable by the owners. Pirnar’s innovative and automatic pull-out/pull-in system also features a fingerprint reader that identifies the owners. In 2017, the OneTouch collection by Pirnar was awarded two prestigious GERMAN DESIGN AWARDS. The Pure entry door collection is made up of inspiring and modern entrances with smooth and uniformly oriented elements, offering incomparable safety and exquisite aesthetics. The Multilevel collection is also characterised by prestigious aesthetics while the diverse multi-level design gives off a dynamic appearance. The Premium entry door collection is a combination of top-level prestige and creative personalization while the traditionally designed Classico collection aims to persuade those with a more conventional mindset thanks to its timeless elegance.

At Pirnar, we realize that even the smallest details matter. That is why we devote ample of attention to little things. The company’s recognizable logo speaks of company values: the Pegasus symbolizes uncontrollable boldness and innovation; the wings are a symbol of creativity and inspiration; while the shield is the symbol of tradition and family, the foundations of Pirnar’s work, values and philosophy.

The newest and most prestigious innovation by Pirnar is Theatrica, the first entrance wall in the world. This first contactless and fully automatic massive entry door will leave you breathless thanks to the advanced technology. The most modern doors in the world are completely automatic and contactless, thanks to facial recognition technology. In 2019, Pirnar’s breath-taking innovation already available to buyers in Slovenia received a number of awards, the GERMAN DESIGN AWARD, the RED DOT AWARD HONOURABLE MENTION and the GERMAN INOVATION AWARD.

Theatrica is the latest development in the five thousand years of history of entry doors, being the first completely contactless exterior door for residential buildings in the world. Can you imagine the future, where thanks to Theatrica, opening and closing, locking and unlocking your entry door as we perceive them today will become completely obsolete?

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