koolhaas door handle

Get a Handle on It: Decadent Door Handles by Hadid, Koolhaas and More

Olivari’s collection features handles by three iconic designers.

Sheila Kim Sheila Kim

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In conversation at Moroso in New York City, architect Daniel Libeskind spoke about his first product design — a door handle — and declared that it was “not that stupid because I use door handles all the time. To open any door, you need a door handle!”

When looking at the roster of other collaborators for manufacturer Olivari, who produced Libeskind’s Nina handle, one might deduce that many top A+D practitioners share his sentiment. In fact, its 2015 collection featured the designs of not one, but three big names in the industry.

Rendering of Zaha Hadid’s 520 West 28th Street project in New York City (left) and her Chevron handle (right).

Prior to this Olivari collaboration, the late Dame Zaha Hadid was already well-versed in door hardware, having designed the contemporary, angular H356 ZH Duemilacinque handle for Valli e Valli. The Olivari design, however, sports a softer angular-and-pinched look than the Valli e Valli line.

Zaha Hadid’s “Chevron”

If its form looks familiar, there’s good reason: Chevron, as the handle is called, took its shape directly from the façade pattern of the architect’s first New York City project, the luxurious 520 West 28th Street adjacent to the city’s High Line. Chevron comes in chrome, satin chrome and superanthracite satin finishes.

Rem Koolhaas’s “Open”

Rem Koolhaas/OMA’s design, Open (also shown at top), reduces the handle to a slim, minimalist product that reveals the primary operable parts of lever and hub. These two are separate components that can be specified in different metal finish combinations (finishes include chrome, satin chrome, super-inox satin and super-anthracite satin). Complementing the handle is an equally minimal, flat circular rosette.

Marcel Wanders’s “Crystal”

Not quite the opposite, but certainly a contrast from Koolhaas, Moooi founder Marcel Wanders is widely known for injecting ornamental flair into modern design. His 2014 design for Olivari, Dolce Vita, bore a cylindrical handle with, in classic Wanders style, a turned hub.

Marcel Wanders’s “Crystal”

Crystal, his contribution to the collection, sports a more minimal, tapered hub but more elegant grip. The back half of the handle is brass with an intricate pattern that shows through the domed crystal-glass front of the handle. Three pattern styles — Gem cut, Royal and Diamond cut — are available, as are three finishes of chrome, super-gold and super-anthracite satin.

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