What is a Pivot Door?

Should doors operate only on hinges? No, we have another option, the pivoting doors. A pivoting door opens and closes by rotating on a spindle at the bottom and top instead of hinges attached to the side of the door and the frame. The door rotates on a vertical axis. The movement of this door is usually different from that of a normal door. The door offers a unique feel to the interiors and offers much higher and wider doors compared to the usual ones. The wider the door, the spindle is further inside the frame. The quality of the home environment is greatly improvised with the look and feel of a large single-panel door.     

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The Origin

The ideology behind the pivot doors dates back many centuries. The early traces of these doors can be traced back to the ancient city of Persepolis in present-day Iran. A lot of indications of examples of pivot doors were collected from the Gate of All Nations. It was a large hall that was ordered to be built by Achaemenid King Xerxes between the period 465 and 486 BC. The early pivot doors were hung using pivots like the spindles of today, that rotated in holes, both at lintel and sill level. One such example was the majestic doors at Hampi. 

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The pivot doors come in varied sizes and shapes. They range between large and small, heavy, and light, and can be used anywhere in the interiors and exteriors. The application of pivot doors is in commercial and residential spaces, where pivot doors in commercial spaces can be higher than in residential ones. The different types of doors classified based on location are:

1. Exterior Pivot Doors

In need of a grand entrance to your residence or commercial outlet? Then, pivot doors on the exterior facades would be the best choice! Do you know why? Since the door is the first tangible element you enter before moving into the actual building or space. The design of the door can make people feel the mood and feel of the space that lies ahead of the door. Not only the shapes and sizes but there are greater possibilities of playing with materials too! They can be combinations of glass and steel, glass and aluminum completely of steel or aluminum, or even wood. Over recent days, copper-clad pivot doors are the trend! Exterior doors always have the issue of being exposed to weather frequently, not to worry. These doors like the rest can be made weatherproof, draft and moist repellants like drop seals have to be used to make them weather resistant.   

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2. Interior Pivot Doors 

Whatever the interior conditions, pivot doors suit them all! Be it a new design or adding doors to existing spaces, these doors fit in with great ease. These door has been used in the interiors of almost all spaces-bathrooms, kitchens, living rooms, study areas, the partition of rooms, etc. Since a lot of time is spent indoors lazing and moving around the house, the choice of materials for indoor pivot doors has to be done with utmost care. They range from glass, steel, wood, marble, etc.  The door can be customized according to the design needs of the users- with or without frames, single or double, large or small, light or heavy, etc. This is also decided based on the space availability since these doors require great space as compared to the usual door designs. Creative and imaginative designs like pivoting bookcases and pivoting walls can also be created which are added advantages to the pivot door designs. 


3. Commercial Pivot Doors 

Pivot doors are not just great for residential spaces but also for commercial outlets. Their applications range from offices, and libraries to coffee shops, restaurants, spas, etc. 


The different types of doors classified based on materials are: 

4. Wood Pivot Doors 

They have good sound insulation because of their solid material. They are made of a wide range of wood types like Mahogany, Oak, Teak wood, etc. This depends on the user’s cost budget and the texture of the wood pivot surface. They can be used on the interiors and exteriors, provided water insulations and sun protections have to be taken care of in the latter. These doors define the space’s character and add warmth. They are noise cancellers too. 


5. Aluminum Pivot Doors

These doors are made of aluminum alloy as material as the door frame, which is inlaid with a glass of a large area. These designs are most commonly used in the exteriors, not to mention they are used as partition doors in large commercial places. 


  • FritsJurgens. 2022. FritsJurgens. [online] Available at: <https://www.fritsjurgens.com/inspiration/blog/what-is-a-pivot-door#advantage-of-a-pivot-door> [Accessed 10 September 2022].
  • Cngrandsea.com. 2022. Foshan Grandsea Building Material Factory. [online] Available at: <https://www.cngrandsea.com/blog/different-types-of-pivot-doors_b26> [Accessed 10 September 2022].



Alamu Priya is a budding conservation architect pursuing her final year of masters from SPA, Vijayawada. An avid reader and writer, she believes that words create a profound impact on people and can be used as a weapon to unveil the magic behind architecture.