Thinking outside the box

Danesch Missaghian from Rundum Meir UK explains why bespoke garage doors enable specifiers to take a different, more creative approach to the design of the garage and building as a whole

With residential garages being a common sight in many developments, has this led us to adopt a largely uniform, unimaginative approach to garage design? Typically a stand-alone building, a single-storey building attached to the main house or integrated into the house’s ground floor accommodation, a garage will usually have a standard rectangular one piece up and over door. But thinking outside the box, beyond the standard types of doors, and instead designing the garage around a bespoke door can open up vast creative potential, and enable the garage itself to take on a whole new form or purpose.

What is the garage for?

Is the garage intended to be used for parking the car, or will it serve another purpose, such as accommodating a workshop or home office? And anyone involved in high end residential will be aware of many more unusual purposes for garages, including where clients want the garage to accommodate a collection of classic cars, so it becomes their own personal museum or showroom. 

In many cases the garage door is more of an afterthought in terms of how it is integrated into the rest of the building. Usually, unless a specific type of garage door is requested by a client or a particularly unusual building design requires it, rarely is the garage door considered at an early stage or regarded as a ‘design feature.’ 

Convention may be that ‘a garage door is a garage door’ – as long as it opens and closes then the only creative options lie with its outward appearance (be it the colour or choosing either a traditional or contemporary style.) 

However, given that a garage can offer a range of functions, surely the design of the door should reflect this? A bespoke door will offer a much wider variety of opening styles and materials for its manufacture and allow wider or taller spans to be accommodated. Not only can this give the door itself a distinctive visual appearance and operating style, but it can actually facilitate a completely different design to the garage and/or the building.

In many developments, the garage door is neglected in respect of the materials and size. But given how a large proportion of a building’s frontage may be taken up by a garage door, giving careful consideration to its appearance and the role it can play in creating versatile garage spaces can give a fresh design perspective.

Maximising aesthetics

Outstanding building design can be achieved by integrating a bespoke garage door that complements or even enhances the envelope or adjacent garage building. Choosing the wrong door because it is too small, for example, or the materials do not reflect the rest of the property, could compromise the design overall and be a disappointing result.

This is why ‘made to measure’
garage doors have far-reaching aesthetic benefits. From the ability to open sideways and the scope to use more unusual materials and finishes, bespoke garage doors offer much more creative potential than standard doors.

Creating a stand-out feature with the garage door, however, may be the complete opposite of what you are seeking to achieve. More appropriate to the project may be a garage door that is barely noticeable by being thoughtfully integrated into an area of timber cladding, for example, or one that could be regarded as a facade door. 

Again, having the creative freedom to choose a great range of materials for the manufacture of a bespoke garage door means that creating a subtle or understated garage door is equally possible. An overhead or side-sliding sectional garage door, for example, could be clad using the same materials as the surrounding facade for a virtually seamless appearance.

Defining a building’s style

It is also important to note that a bespoke garage door does not have to be linear. With a side sliding ‘round the corner’ door or a side sectional garage door, curves of all descriptions can be accommodated including convex, concave and S-shapes. 

This versatility enables the building’s design to be defined by the garage door and for garages to be created in buildings that would normally be regarded as unsuitable. Twin side-sliding garage doors each curving round 180º can even be combined to create a round free-standing garage with dual access. 

Danesch Missaghian is director of Rundum Meir UK