La Cantina Doors Enable a Duplex to Reach New Heights


Our client’s newly acquired space (four feet higher than the second floor of their duplex) was a serious upgrade, but reworking the flow and functionality of their unit required a quick trip back to the lab. In addition to transforming their third bedroom into a live/work space (e.g. office/guest bedroom), we extended the existing stair to join the two spaces, created a perforated metal surround for stair safety, and are in the process of expanding the master bedroom and bath and outfitting them with custom millwork. 

You can see the glass walkway in the sketch below

This sketch shows what existing elements of the unit will stay and how they will fit in with the new design elements


Chris demonstrates one of many configurations of the La Cantina doors

Whenever we can, we seek out innovative ways to infuse interiors with natural light. This can be especially tricky with lofts and condos, which often share walls, restricting access to sunlight. Individual divisions within condos could create a difficult choice between cutting off a room to rely on electrical lighting, or not having enough privacy. In West Loop Loft we created interior, operable window walls; here we kept the glass walkway from our initial design to keep the layering of levels from casting too many shadows on the floor below. This also cut down on electrical lighting inputs, reducing bills and carbon emissions. With children in the house, it was important to increase safety around the stairs, so we installed a perforated metal surround that serves as a barrier and railing. The height and width makes it perfect for accident protection, while the perforations allow light to diffuse into the house.


Prized for their sleek look and low maintenance functionality, we selected four folding La Cantina doors to insulate, protect and create versatility in our client’s annexed space. These door systems have been tested for superior thermal performance (which reduces auxilary heating and cooling system load) and impact resistance since they are built to exist in either indoor or outdoor conditions. Another bonus? Their super reliable seal also means the doors are remarkable at creating pockets of peace and quiet within a noisy house—especially nice in an open loft.

The doors are attached from above, cutting down on wear and tear that can occur on floor tracking typically used in sliding and folding doors. Additionally, hanging from the ceiling means the doors are easier to operate with less force, again contributing to the longevity of the product. For the third bedroom, the folding La Cantina doors allow the space to exist in multiple configurations—whether opening up the corridor, or adding or subtracting privacy. That room now functions as an office, guest bedroom, and upper-level lounge. The system is easy to use and allows the family to transform the space from public to private in seconds.




Stay tuned for our project completion post where we reveal the custom cabinetry, vanity, bed frame and more!