Project Profiles: Education

Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey, Calif.

Ellison Bronze aluminum doors are constructed from heavy wall extrusions that are made solely for Ellison.

Ellison Bronze aluminum doors are constructed from heavy wall extrusions that are made solely for Ellison.

Materials

In 2002, the aquarium installed two pairs of Ellison Bronze custom-balanced doors made of extruded aluminum painted black with stainless-steel tie-rod construction and panic exit devices. In 2004, nine more of the same doors were installed. The aquarium first purchased Ellison Bronze doors to replace previous doors with swing components made of aluminum and steel—materials that at the aquarium would wear out after only three to four months.

“The original four Ellison doors are still in place and working, in good condition but with some ongoing maintenance,” says Master Crafts Worker Jurek Zawadzki of Monterey Bay Aquarium. Given the corrosive effects of salt water and the heavy traffic at this site, preventative maintenance is to be expected.

The four Ellison doors installed in 2002 are large size: 48-inches wide by 129-inches high each. These doors have durable balanced hardware with most of the door components made of solid bronze to withstand the corrosive surroundings of an oceanfront location. The additional nine installed in 2004 were slightly smaller, measuring 44-inches wide by 107-inches high each.

Unlike conventional entry doors, an Ellison Bronze aluminum door is constructed from heavy wall extrusions that are made solely for Ellison and specifically designed to work in conjunction with the company’s balanced hardware system. The door leaf’s horizontal top and bottom rails are attached to the vertical stiles, using welded and bolted connections with additional stainless-steel tie rods at horizontal rails, yielding a durable and long-lasting entrance.

Doors: Ellison Bronze

The Retrofit

The Monterey Bay Aquarium received the 2016 Twenty-five Year Award from the Washington, D.C.-based American Institute of Architects. The award is given each year to a precedent-setting “project that has stood the test of time for 25-35 years and continues to set standards of excellence for its architectural design and significance.”

Opened in 1984, the aquarium was built over the bay itself, literally participating in the natural ecosystem it showcases—pumping in unfiltered seawater that fills some of its exhibit tanks, as one example. The aquarium receives about 2 million visitors per year.

Photo: Ellison Bronze

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