Dornier Museum Friedrichshafen, fotografiert von Florian Holzherr
Dornier Museum Friedrichshafen, photo by Florian Holzherr
Windfang des Haupteingangs: Automatische Halbrundschiebetür mit Antriebssystem GEZE Slimdrive SC mit nur 7 Zentimeter Antriebshöhe
Main entrance draught lobby: Automatic semi-circular sliding door with GEZE Slimdrive SC drive system with a drive height of just 7 centimetres
Double-leaf emergency door in the glass front with surface-mounted GEZE TS 5000 L-ISM door closer system

GEZE within the Dornier Museum in Friedrichshafen, Germany

The new Dornier Museum in Friedrichshafen, nestling in 25,000 square metres of country park close to Bodensee Airport, opens up a fascinating display of aircraft to the public, and makes an impressive contribution to museum architecture. Munich-based architects Allmann Sattler Wappner have succeeded in interpreting the topic of flight in a structurally subtle way.

An array of arresting exhibits across 3,000 square metres of exhibition space bring to life the history of German's oldest aircraft factory and the story of aviation. The museum's layout in the form of a hangar symbolically recreates a section of the airfield at Friedrichshafen airport – the birthplace of Dornier - and gives its Dornier successor an authentic setting. The architecture satisfies two different requirements of the exhibition: on the one hand, the hangar provides sufficient space for the large number of original aircraft on display. Secondly, the "museum box" which appears to float above the foyer forms the centrepiece of the exhibition. From here, visitors can see the rich archive that has linked the name of Dornier with the history of aerospace for over one hundred years.

State-of-the-art door and safety technology by GEZE helped the architecture to support this ambitious structure. Starting with the draught lobby at the main entrance: the visual appearance of the semi-circular automatic sliding door sits in harmony with its sweeping lines, combining architectonic perfection with the highest degree of functionality. The curved door system is moved by means of the high performance Slimdrive SC drive system. The visual appearance defines the technology: the completely prefabricated Slimdrive drive system is – unique in the market – just seven centimetres high. This allowed the Slimdrive to be installed unobtrusively on the curved pillar and bar constructions. The sophisticated integrated Slimdrive design emphasises the unity of the door technology used in the draught lobby, avoiding any visual discontinuity: the inner door of the draught lobby was fitted with a double-leaf linear sliding door with a Slimdrive SL drive. This powerful drive – which is also 7 cm high – integrates unobtrusively into the glass front.

Preventive fire protection is essential for the safety of people, and of the museum building and its irreplaceable treasures. The TS 5000 door closer range combines safety and functionality in a continuous design line.

The double-leaf outer doors in the building's glass front were fitted with type TS 5000 L-ISM surface-mounted door closer systems. The closing sequence control – invisibly integrated in the sophisticated guide rail – guarantees that both door leaves close again perfectly and in a controlled way after people have passed through them as an emergency route for example. This means that the door is again able to fulfil its role as an emergency door. Installing the high quality door technology on the opposite hinge side means it remains on the protected inside of the emergency doors, which open to the outside.

The single leaf fire and smoke proof doors in the interior of the museum were fitted with surface-mounted type TS 5000 R or closers with an electromechanical hold-open mechanism. The door's hold-open mechanism is continuously adjustable between 80° and 130°. The hold-open position can also be exceeded which means that the door leaf guarantees to open as far as possible in the case of danger. This functionality is integrated into the guide rail as is the smoke switch which is activated in the case of fire, closing the doors automatically. This means that unattractive smoke detectors which break up the interior design can be avoided. A total of almost twenty well-proven GEZE TS 5000 series door closers were used.

Redevelopment of this museum is an excellent example of how the history of aviation and the symbolic power that goes hand-in-hand with this special location can be brought to life in state-of-the-art architecture, and lend the Dornier name its incomparable identity.