Tennessee State Museum
Forty Bronze Doors Lead the Way to Innovation
Ellison Bronze, manufacturer of premier custom balanced doors for commercial entrances around the world, provided 40 bronze stile and rail doors for the new Tennessee State Museum in Nashville, TN. EOA Architects (Nashville, TN) and HGA Architects and Engineers (Minneapolis, MN) teamed up with Ellison to put their signature of innovation on the project.
The museum was designed to “illuminate the rich and diverse history of the citizens of Tennessee and enlivens Nashville’s Bicentennial Mall, making it a destination for generations to come.”
The two-story, 141,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art cultural facility is equipped with 40 bronze stile and rail balanced doors by Ellison, each featuring a Satin #4 finish with a custom patina.
“Other door types were considered throughout the project, but each came with a compromise to function, aesthetics, or longevity,” says Sheila Dial-Barton, AIA, Principal at EOA Architects.
According to Dial-Barton, Ellison balanced doors were chosen for a number of reasons. First, for their height and ease of operability—the location of the pivot point as well as each door’s height allows large quantities of people to enter the museum on a daily basis with the ability to host large events. In addition, the construction quality, material choices, and longevity of Ellison doors made them an ideal choice.
“The museum is intended to truly serve as the ‘front door’ for the state of Tennessee,” adds Dial-Barton. “Built with durable, quality materials, it’s designed to be a ‘100-year building’ and last long into the next century.”
According to HGA Architects, the facility improves the visitor experience and engages the public in the history and significance of the State of Tennessee. Its priceless collections from Tennessee’s history are displayed in flexible exhibit spaces and offer opportunities for learning through programming, lectures, symposia, and interactive learning spaces available to teachers, students, and the general public.
Ellison balanced doors and frames are formed and welded using durable sheet materials that give them a rigid, unitized structure that lasts much longer than standard commercial doors. Coupled with durable balanced hardware—specifically the inset pivot point located at two-thirds width—Ellison doors require less opening force and offer reduced sidewalk encroachment.
These large, long-lasting balanced doors are ideal for significant cultural projects like the Tennessee State Museum. They complement a variety of building types and their innovative construction and effortless operation suit high-traffic spaces better than any other commercial entryway. In addition, Ellison balanced doors are completely warranted for 10 years. In the unlikely event of a malfunction, parts are free for the first decade of use.
“Our design team has worked with Ellison on multiple cultural institution projects,” says Dial-Barton. “Our team noted that Ellison always provides a high-quality product that meets both functional and design intentions, and the doors’ grandeur and transparency are what we look for when designing a cultural or civic building.”
Ellison has created custom balanced doors for some of the most historic universities, museums, and other civic buildings since they began manufacturing them in 1932. The company’s commitment to quality and craftsmanship for nearly a century has positioned them as a leader in commercial doors and entrances, gaining the trust of such acclaimed organizations.
Corey Gaffer © Gaffer Photography