“The door handle is the handshake of the building”, said Finnish architect, educator and writer, Juhani Pallasma. Unfortunately, many commercially available door handles simply don’t do their buildings justice — the architectural equivalent of a limp handshake.
This is what inspired designer Felice Carlino to design the first range of solid timber door furniture for the market.
A Focus on Touch
As an interior designer himself, Carlino was searching for a full-timber door pull for an accommodation pod he was designing. “Everything I found was a combination of timber and metal, which didn’t look very nice, and also didn’t feel comfortable in the hand,” he says. “So I decided to design my own.”
The concept was a solid timber door pull and lever that was beautiful to look at and beautiful to hold. “It was important to me that the door furniture not only look beautifully simple and elegant, but was also delicate to touch,” Carlino continues. “How it feels is equally important as how it looks.”
Design for Humans
This sensual approach led the design of a handle that would intuitively respond to the mechanical workings of the fingers and hands. “Fingers are made up of three joints that wrap themselves around the grip,” Carlino explains, “So we crafted a taper and radius edges so the door pull and lever would sit within the grip of the hand and also be comfortable in more delicate hands.”
Prototyping and development led to a product that he was finally happy to put into small production, and then expand. The range now includes pull handles, lever handles, universal design lever handles and towel rails.
Design for Health
Complying with AS1428, the TIRAR family of door levers offers an opportunity to create healthcare and accessible designs that are visually warm and tactile, increasing the quality of interiors and the wellbeing of residents and patients. “We found that most healthcare products were utilitarian and clinical in their design approach,” Carlino says. “We wanted everyone to have the opportunity to have access to beautiful products, especially in their homes.”
TIRAR has received immediate attention, with product already installed in a number of high end residential projects, the Vice Chancellor’s Office at University Technology, Sydney, as well as a Dexus commercial building, also in Sydney. The range received a Silver medal at the 2015 London Design Awards and Silver in the Windows and Doors category in the 2016 European Product Design Awards.
With Australian and international distributors in the UK, France, Scandinavia and New Zealand, the range is available now for specification in high-end commercial, residential, healthcare, accessible and hospitality environments globally.