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No Trip-Ups for Jewers Doors at Portsmouth’s Boathouse 4

Jewers Doors have installed two ‘thresholdless’ versions of their Kingfisher sliding door system in Boathouse 4 at Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard. The doors were purpose designed to ensure trip-free access between workshops and formed part of a £3.5 million restoration programme recently completed by Interserve.

Boathouse 4 was originally built during WWII and was one of only two locations where specialist assault and infantry landing craft were manufactured in preparation for the D-Day landings. The restored building is now home to the International Boatbuilding Training College (IBTC) and a fully functional Boatbuilding Skills Training Centre, where traditional boatbuilding and related skills required to conserve wooden boats are taught.  


Kirsten Holland of Walters and Cohen Architects commented, “Boathouse 4 is an important historic building and we felt the aesthetics of straight sliding doors between the workshops would be more sympathetic to the design and help maintain the classic industrial feel to the structure.  As this will be a very active centre building and restoring large boats, it was important that once the doors were slid back, there would be no obstruction to the movement of large, heavy boats or materials.  We approached Jewers Doors who were very helpful and were prepared to put in the time to design a customised door that fully met the demanding specification of this unusual building.”


Each Kingfisher straight-sliding doors is in a single, top-hung leaf, hanging from Jewers own pendant hanger and top track system, but instead of incorporating bottom tracks within the floor, surface mounted torpedo guides are used to stabilise the doors. These are situated behind the adjoining walls to ensure unrestricted access between the workshops.  An integral wicket door allows staff and students access between the workshops when the main sliding door is closed, and this has also been designed without a bottom threshold to eliminate any trip hazard.

Mark Jewers, Director of Jewers Doors added, “Thresholdless doors are not a new development, however, the integration of a thresholdless wicket door is a recent innovation for our Kingfisher and Osprey doors, and we are confident that they will prove popular in any environment requiring large industrial doors and unobstructed pedestrian access without having to open the main door.  Wicket doors can be fitted with simple lever furniture or panic bars for emergency escape


The Kingfisher door is one of a trio of insulated sliding and folding door products available from the Phoenix range of doors from Jewers Doors. All doors can be customised to suit a client's individual needs with options such as solid insulated panels, partial or full glazing, wicket doors, full height pass doors, electric or manual operation and a multitude of finish options.