A couple of weeks ago, someone asked me why hinges traditionally come in pairs. I asked two of my favorite hinge experts – Matt Bouchard and Bob Jutzi, and they both gave me a variation of the same answer. In the 17th and 18th centuries there were 2 hinges on a door, so they were sold in pairs because you’d never use just one. In the early 1950’s it was determined that a 3rd hinge would supply additional support and that became the standard. Our industry called that “a pair and a half” of hinges. There’s some great hinge history at www.hardwaresource.com in case there’s other hinge trivia you’ve been wondering about.

The Museum of Fine Arts - Huntington EntranceLast week I went to check on one of my favorite and most challenging projects – the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.  Just recently I ran into someone who said he hadn’t seen me since I attended an MFA security meeting on the day I was due to have my 3-year-old daughter, so I’ve been working on this project for quite a while.  There’s still work to be done but it’s an AMAZING building.  I felt kind of silly taking photos of doors when there are so many other beautiful details.  The glass-enclosed courtyard is especially breathtaking and will be a wonderful space when it’s completed.

I saw the hinge/pivot in the video below on one of many stainless steel panels in the galleries.  It’s made by an Italian company – Laboratorio Museotecnico Goppion. There’s some really cool hardware available, especially in Europe, that for some reason isn’t often used in the U.S.  I’m seeing these products more often since several of my projects have European architects involved (the MFA was designed by Foster & Partners in London with CBT Architects in Boston).

Here are some images from my site visit.  I’ll have more as the building gets closer to completion.

The Italian Pivot/Hinge One of the panels with the special hinges. The enclosed courtyard. Stair to the Galleries Courtyard from above.

Gigantic communicating pair at the special exhibitions gallery. Sprinkler heads between the doors. One of the period rooms. Because of the length of the beams, this structure has been in place (and well-protected) as the new building went up. Glass doors at galleries.

Restroom vestibule unequal leaf pair. Exit Stair Standpipe closet door in stair (left). Office door with Schlage Danmark lever and extended lip strike. Glass walls and roof.

Hardware Supplier: Partitions Systems, Inc.

General Contractor:  John Moriarty Associates

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