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Old 08-01-2016, 10:31 PM
Hermitian Hermitian is offline
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Double thick door on strange hinge in 1940s office?

I was watching the mini-series The Heavy Water War (which is pretty decent by the way). In the fifth episide, a manager's secretary opens the door and tells the manager there is a visitor to see him.

The door that she opens has two doors, one in front of the other and they are on a hinge that allows them both to open and close together. Is anyone familiar with this? I have never seen anything like it. What is the purpose? Maybe sound deadening?

This is 1940s Norway.

Opening door

Opened door
  #2  
Old 08-02-2016, 12:20 AM
engineer_comp_geek engineer_comp_geek is online now
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I've seen doors kinda like that, but usually one opens one way and the other opens the other way. They aren't that uncommon in old houses where you could divide up the house and sublet each part. If someone was living in the entire house, they could leave both doors unlocked and freely go from one area to another. If the different parts were sublet to different people, each one could keep the door on their side locked to keep the other tenants out.

I've never seen them attached and both opening in the same direction like that.

Soundproofing seems like a good guess.
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Old 08-02-2016, 12:51 AM
Joey P Joey P is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by engineer_comp_geek View Post
I've seen doors kinda like that, but usually one opens one way and the other opens the other way. They aren't that uncommon in old houses where you could divide up the house and sublet each part. If someone was living in the entire house, they could leave both doors unlocked and freely go from one area to another. If the different parts were sublet to different people, each one could keep the door on their side locked to keep the other tenants out.

I've never seen them attached and both opening in the same direction like that.

Soundproofing seems like a good guess.
That's common in hotels as well, but again, opening in opposite directions. As it stands, the woman entering can't get in (at least not easily) without the interior door already being open. I assume it was in the movie. You said (well, implied) that the interior part was an office. My WAG is that it was for extra security, it would make sure that that no one outside could get inside unless the (inside) person wanted them to enter. I'm guessing the interior was already open when she entered and, furthermore, probably remained open. The problem I see with a setup like that is if the interior door accidentally closed when no one was in the office. Short of another way to enter, they'd really have a problem.

Could be for security, could also just be an artifact of a remodel or addition (but that would be odd for a movie set).

ETA, it should be noted that it appears to be a french door and we can't see what's going on with the door on the right side.
ETA2, they may have just been installed incorrectly as well.

Last edited by Joey P; 08-02-2016 at 12:55 AM.
  #4  
Old 08-02-2016, 01:17 AM
Joey P Joey P is online now
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Aaaand another thing. Considering the inner door has a handle and nice decoration on it, I have to wonder if the outer door (despite what I may or may not be able to tell from the picture) can open both ways. That is, maybe it can open outwards and the secretary just choose to open it inwards because that's the way she was heading. That, ISTM, would make the most sense.

If the outer door only opens inwards, the inner door would have no/little need for the intricate decor and handle, since you the only people to see it would be those inside the office.
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Old 08-02-2016, 03:07 AM
Francis Vaughan Francis Vaughan is offline
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Almost certainly soundproofing. The padding in the inside of the door pair would support this - as this is where you want it for best effect. Notice that the doors are linked by a bar at the bottom which makes them open as a pair.

Given this is a wartime secret drama the doors emphasise the secret nature of the work performed in the room.
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Old 08-02-2016, 03:43 AM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey P View Post
That's common in hotels as well, but again, opening in opposite directions. As it stands, the woman entering can't get in (at least not easily) without the interior door already being open. I assume it was in the movie. You said (well, implied) that the interior part was an office. My WAG is that it was for extra security, it would make sure that that no one outside could get inside unless the (inside) person wanted them to enter. I'm guessing the interior was already open when she entered and, furthermore, probably remained open. The problem I see with a setup like that is if the interior door accidentally closed when no one was in the office. Short of another way to enter, they'd really have a problem.
If you look closely, you can see the two doors are connected by a rod and hinges. So they would open together and couldn't be opened separately or in opposite directions.

I'd go with the consensus and speculate it's for soundproofing or perhaps thermal insulation.
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Old 08-02-2016, 04:15 AM
Quartz Quartz is offline
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Perhaps a more famous double door is the one into M's office in the early James Bond movies. That one is padded for secrecy and the inner door is securable.
  #8  
Old 08-02-2016, 09:43 AM
Hermitian Hermitian is offline
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Yes, the doors were connected and hinged together, so they were not like hotel room connecting doors.

I think the sound insulation may make the most sense. The building that this was supposedly in is a factory, and not one that was necessarily built to be secretive. Maybe the sound insulation is to keep the factory noises out of the nicer office.

Either way, I thought it struck me as peculiar to have in the movie. It was in the frame for probably 1.5 seconds and would have be a pain to make intentionally.

However, IMDB said they filmed a lot in Norway, which I assume would use real locations, not film lots. It was probably an artifact of wherever they were filming.
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Old 08-02-2016, 12:20 PM
Quartz Quartz is offline
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If you look at the end credits there will likely be a location manager listed. Perhaps you might contact them to ask?
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Old 08-02-2016, 12:34 PM
DCnDC DCnDC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by engineer_comp_geek View Post
I've seen doors kinda like that, but usually one opens one way and the other opens the other way.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey P View Post
That's common in hotels as well, but again, opening in opposite directions.
JFYI those are what's known as "communicating doors." Typically seen as you've described, back-to-back oppositely-handed doors with separately locking handles/knobs on the in-swinging side and blank plates on the "inside" side.

I don't know what or if there is a term for what the OP is describing; it's certainly not a standardized door function in the US.
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