PMA Door Handle

PMA Door Handle

According to Juhani Pallasmaa, the renowned Finnish architect, the door handle is ‘the handshake of a building’. Architecture may be the most physical of the arts but it is one in which the sense of vision is privileged. Architects talk about light, space, shadow, solid and void, but rarely about texture and weight, about how an object feels in the hand or the effects it exerts on the body, its tactile, haptic qualities.

The door handle is one of the smallest architectural elements, yet it can exert the most powerful of impacts. Our sense of touch introduces us to the building. It is the weight, solidity and texture of the handle which guides us across the threshold and communicates our first impression of architecture.

Paul McAneary Architects’s beautifully considered door handles aim to create small moments of hand-held architecture which reveal something about the time in which they were made. But equally, they are also capable of absorbing and celebrating the transformative effects of use and wear.

Like a building, the handle is not a static object but a piece of micro-sculpture which bears the traces and memories of those who have briefly touched it, standing as an exquisite reminder of the exigencies of use. Inseparable from the moment in which it was conceived, layered with and enriched by the patina of age, it remains one of the most potent and intrinsic elements of architecture.

[By Catherine Slessor*]

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Design Team Paul McAneary Architects

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