Case Study: 12-11-212 – 20 ft. Tall Motorized Sliding Glass Doors



When a California-based company began the design of their new corporate headquarters in the South of Market District in San Francisco, they turned to Solar Innovations, Inc. to help create a contemporary entryway to their expansive lobby. The 26-story modernist-style skyscraper was designed with floor-to-ceiling windows on all floors to take advantage of the surrounding city and bay views from every story. The lobby itself is located in a high foot traffic area and looks out to the central core of the surrounding neighborhood. The architects wanted huge, functional glass doors for the lobby that would provide a seamless connection from the elegant lobby to the surrounding community; they also wanted the doors’ height to match the tall lobby ceiling. The sheer height of the sliding doors compounded with the requirement of being able to withstand 110 mph winds created a complicated challenge for Solar Innovations, Inc.


Solar Innovations, Inc. worked with the skyscraper design team to provide a concept that would blend in with the overall aesthetic of the building, while standing out as the entry way for the impressive lobby. The solution was 20-feet tall, motorized sliding doors, which take advantage of the full height of the lobby, from floor to ceiling. The massive size of the doors proved to be a challenge for Solar’s engineering team, who worked to create a smooth operation for the 20 ft. doors and account for the 110 mph wind load. The engineering process included building mockups and testing them in Solar’s test lab to ensure the success of the design. This project is Solar’s tallest sliding door project to date.

The installation was also an impressive component of the overall process. Solar’s expert crew was able to coordinate the installation of these massive doors on a busy corner in the Market District of San Francisco. The pictures from the site speak to the overall success of this customized, engineering feat. These 20-feet, motorized doors now provide the initial impression for San Francisco’s newest architectural achievement.