Vienna-based artist Klemens Torggler designs doors, except they don’t feel like doors. They don’t swing open or shut. Instead, you tickle them and they unfold. Part sculpture, part origami, Torggler’s doors seem less like doors than optical illusions of geometry. It’s enough to make every door you’ve ever seen appear just depressingly lifeless by comparison.
Judging from some of the prototype videos he has uploaded to YouTube, Torggler has been designing these hypnotically interfolding doors since at least 2006, and maybe even earlier, if one video of him looking like an extra from an early-’90s mumblecore film is anything to go by. Torggler’s doors do not appear to be a mere hobby but instead something of an obsession.
Despite this, the general principles behind his doors are not hard to grasp. Although they work like beautiful kinetic sculptures, they are all split at their equator into two rotating squares, making it possible for the doors to move sideways without using tracks. To make these squares spin out of the way, Torggler uses a variety of mechanisms, including rods and hinged triangles (as in the Evolution Door) that effectively fold his door out of the way.
Torggler’s designs aren’t limited to simple doors, though. On his website, the designer shows off an elaborate octapanel door that opens from the middle, and an elegant screen that hangs from the ceiling and spreads open its leaves almost like a butterfly. One of his doors even features a window that traces an intricate epitrochoid as it opens.
Although many of Torggler’s projects are prototypes, some of his doors are available as patterned art pieces from the Artelier Collection, a Vienna-based gallery. Expect buying one to be tough, as the Artelier Collection has only 15 for sale.
The biggest issue with Torggler’s doors from a practical perspective, of course, is the high likelihood that if you got your fingers caught in one, they wouldn’t just get pinched but neatly sheared off. The good news is that, in regards to the triangular Evolution Door at least, soft edges make accidental amputation unlikely.