Specifier Review
AGB Hardware

Imago Lift & Slide provides the natural view for therapy centre

The imaginative use of Imago Lift & Slide doors from AGB Hardware has enhanced the peaceful environment of an innovative residential therapy centre for recovering addicts.

CentroSoranzo is a not-for-profit social health facility, located on the site of a disused military fort in a wood outside Venice, where drug, alcohol and gambling addicts can be treated in a natural, therapeutic environment.  The centrepiece of CentroSoranzo is a wooden pavilion where the centre’s guests can feel at one with nature to assist their recovery, which features two Imago doors.

Imago’s slim-line frames and large glazing areas are perfect to frame the idyllic woodland view from the building, while the easy opening mechanism ensures that guests can enjoy the pavilion’s outdoor terrace.


Imago is also in use as a window system in the centre’s canteens, highlighting the versatility of the hardware to create glazing that is as good-looking as it is useful.

The design of CentroSoranzo was a collaboration between architects, artists, graphic designers, psychologist and psychiatrists.  Their collective objective was to place natural beauty as a key element of therapeutic care, with careful use of space, shape, colour and décor to make the centre a welcoming environment.

Architects Sara Carbonera and Marta Baretti of Arbau Studio wanted a design that would emphasise this feel and not be seen as a clinical environment.  Buildings have been built in pine to match the woodland setting, with extensive use of glazing to maximise the natural light coming into the pavilions.


The main pavilion features an outdoor terrace and the building is designed so that outside and inside blend together under an asymmetrical, overhanging roof.  The eight metre glazed facade that looks out onto the terrace is not perpendicular to the building’s perimeter walls, being angled instead to strengthen the view and enlarge the terrace area for a dynamic blend of interior and exterior.

To support this effect, the architects wanted a door opening that would appear invisible, to encourage free movement of residents in and out of the pavilion.  After looking at options available on the market, Sara and Marta fell in love with the possibilities offered by the Imago Lift & Slide system and incorporated Imago into their design.

“The fact that we could minimise the frame width meant we could fit even more glass into the area, so that guests can feel the benefits of being at one with nature even when they’re inside,” explains Marta Baretti.

Two Imago doors are in use in the main pavilion, which slide together and meet behind another pane of glass.  This provides two exit and entrance points, further enhancing the effect of freedom that the architects wanted.

“The asymmetrical design of the building presented a challenge in how best to incorporate the Lift & Slide door into the overall shape of the glazed area, which is split into several different geometric shapes.  Happily, the Imago hardware is so versatile and easy to use that the installation of the door was a smooth process,” says Marta.

Given the simplicity of the Imago system in terms of design, installation and use, Marta and Sara were quick to add Imago windows elsewhere in the centre, including high-usage areas such as the canteen.

 “The Imago Lift & Slide door is an essential part of CentroSoranzo and has helped to make our design come to life.  The guests love having the ease and freedom to step outside as part of their therapy – but thanks to Imago, they can enjoy the view from indoors, too.”