In line with its tradition of sourcing the best products and materials for the construction industry from around the world, Universal Building Materials Merchants (UBM) of Saudi Arabia has enhanced its offering of door hardware for the hospitality and luxury palaces segment.
There has been a growing demand for decorative door hardware, says Raghunath Sadasivam, UBM’s CEO.
While in commercial and public utility buildings the focus has been on the functionality rather than the aesthetics of door hardware – with safety, security and convenience taking precedence over design – the growth of the hospitality and luxury residential segments of the market has resulted in an upsurge in demand for aesthetic door hardware products, he says.
“With the hospitality sector witnessing an unprecedented growth in Saudi Arabia, the emphasis on design and aesthetics has grown exponentially,” says Raghunath. “Effective design in hospitality needs to strike a balance between operational functionality (ease-of-use, security and safety requirements, for example) and the physical elements (such as door hardware, furniture, fixtures, equipment, plants and art).”
With door hardware being one of the most intimate and first points of contact for guests, it is important to “create meaningful first impressions”, he emphasises.
He adds: “Also in the luxury residential segment, which is growing rapidly in size, there is a predominant demand for aesthetic door hardware – especially in palaces, where it should complement the grandeur of the ambiance.”
UBM works closely with designers and architects to fulfil their architectural aspirations and has partnered with some of the world’s leading manufacturers to introduce the widest choice of door products available under one roof in Saudi Arabia.
Raghunath says the specification and design consultants at UBM offer solutions to enable architects and designers to realise their aesthetic vision without compromising on functionality. In a bid to meet every demand of its clients, UBM recently introduced the first-of-its-kind concept in the region called ‘The Porta-Levers and Locks’.
“The brand Porta is not just a feather in the cap for UBM, but a matter of great pride for the entire industry in the region. The company has, in a short period of time, gained prominence in the hospitality and palaces sector, with a number of projects to its credit.”
The premium designer door hardware division of UBM showcases some of the finest brands in the designer door hardware segment from across the globe. “Every product displayed at the boutique is a unique marvel and is an outcome of highly artistic creation,” he says.
Product consultants at Porta work closely with clients and partners to create interiors of true quality and the company offers constructive and qualified advice to put the best finishing touches to exterior and interior door hardware.
Hassan says the conference facility and meeting room at Porta are often used by visiting designers and contractors for discussions with UBM’s in-house consultants, and by its design partners for their own client meetings, design exhibits and joint marketing.
Some of the luxury brands offered by Porta include Martin Pierce, Rocky Mountain Hardware, Baldwin, Brassart and Frank Alart.
• Rocky Mountain Hardware: This is an ideal choice for the designer or architect who wants to add class and prestige to his doors, according to Mohammed Abul Hassan, product manager of door hardware at UBM. “Every piece is crafted from art-grade solid bronze in the company’s US-based foundry to create a simple, handcrafted look that would work equally well in a rustic log home, a Mediterranean-style villa, a French country-style house, or a more contemporary-style project,” he says.
“The bronze used in its creation is a ‘living finish’, referred to as patina – which changes colour, sheen, and texture as part of its ongoing aging process and affected by factors such as time, touch, climate, and exposure to elements – and this is the reason designers and end-users love it,” Hassan adds.
• Mandelli 1953: The company has been designing and manufacturing cast brass door handles and accessories of high quality for almost 60 years at its premises at Besana in Bianza, Italy.
“Continuous research, new technologies and innovative designs have positioned Mandelli 1953 among world leaders in the industry, offering collections that range from elegant classic to sophisticated country style,” says Raghunath.
• Baldwin: Since 1946, Baldwin has been the US’s premier maker of hand-crafted residential and commercial hardware offering a wide range of products in highly crafted designs and rich finishes. The company continuously evolves the brand and portfolios to match the lifestyles of today’s discerning homeowners to offer collections such as Estate, Reserve and The Prestige Series.
• Martin Pierce: Martin Pierce Hardware was founded in 2002 in the US, where all of its work is still done. “Its styles are original and copyrighted and are cast in the lost wax method, which allows exceptional detail,” explains Raghunath.
• Brassart: This British manufacturer of solid brass architectural hardware and home ware makes the Period and Heritage brands of solid brass door handles and door knobs, including the iconic Princess and Constable lines. With a collection of patterns dating back to the early 17th century, Brassart offers an extensive range of period, heritage and contemporary door furniture made from pure brass and handworked, polished and finished on site in the UK.
• Frank Allart: Frank Allart is a designer and manufacturer of architectural hardware in a variety of materials and finishes. Its range of brass, bronze, aluminium and zinc products includes entrance and interior door furniture, window fittings, door bolts and wide range of door accessories.
• Dorma: With over 100 years of tradition behind it, Dorma has developed into the world market leader in door controls, movable walls and glass fittings and accessories. In the automatics segment, the company is a member of the world elite. It is also a successful player in the security, time management and access control segment.
• Ghidini: Since 1929, Ghidini has gradually and constantly developed new products using the most appropriate manufacturing techniques.