How Masonite Updated Its Historic Office With Custom Doors

Masonite, parent of Masonite Architectural and one of the world’s largest door manufacturers, broke ground on a new global headquarters in the historic Ybor City neighborhood of Tampa, Florida, in November 2018. Naturally, selecting the interior doors for the office was an important part of the design process. Here’s a look at how we updated our office’s historic interior with custom manufactured doors.

Interior Design Challenges in a Historic Locale

Ybor City, a booming center for the cigar industry in the late 1800s, has distinct Spanish, Cuban and Italian architectural influences. The eclectic neighborhood blends vintage boutiques, upscale restaurants and unique nightlife with old-world cobblestone streets and historic architecture.

When designing a new workspace for more than 200 Tampa-based Masonite employees, Alfonso Architects sought to integrate historic Ybor influences into a modern, open environment. The architects leveraged Masonite’s expertise and innovative nature to enhance the blended aesthetic with unique interior wood doors.

Howard Heckes, CEO of Masonite, adds:

“Doors do more than open and close – they have the power to make spaces brighter, quieter and more impactful. As a leading door manufacturer, it was important for us to focus on the pivotal role our products play in defining this space.”

Masonite Ybor Office Lobby

A Statement Door for the Common Area

The most remarkable feature of the new four-story headquarters is the massive stranded lumber entry door to the main common area. A true statement piece, the door is the first thing that most employees and visitors notice upon their arrival. Within the structure of the door, meticulous laid cutouts provide a line of sight into other common areas of the first floor. As the designer explains:

“In addition to many key design features throughout the building, we wanted to communicate the soul of Masonite at the main public entry door on the ground level. This resulted in a dramatic 12-foot-high, 525-pound, solid hardwood cross-laminated statement door with a functionally elegant modern design.”

This unique door was manufactured by the Masonite Architectural’s plant in London, Ontario, known for making stile and rail doors. It required more than 45 hours of labor and 30 team members. The London team had to account for the swinging door portion as well as the large stationary side section. In total, the door contained 396 board feet of white ash, maple, birch and red oak veneer. The door components were stabilized by four pallets on each side and bolted vertically.

Tampa-based Integrated Door Systems needed a crew of eight to move the statement door into place and install it. The door is on a large automatic opener triggered by a common card reader.

Customized Doors for Offices

For the offices, the designers turned to Masonite Architectural’s flush door plant in Saint-Ephrem, Quebec, to produce one-off custom doors. Masonite employees got to design them themselves. The custom doors used the same wood species and color for a consistent aesthetic, but with variations in glazing and design to reflect each team member’s personality.

“Helping to design the door for our own office was exciting as it was the first time I’ve had the opportunity to personalize a product for my own workspace,” said Graham Thayer, Senior Vice President of Masonite Architectural.

Masonite Ybor Office with open green doors

Flush and Louvered Doors for Restrooms

A plain sliced white maple with a clear finish was selected to match the project’s flush wood doors and full-length louvered bathroom doors. Each door features a different lite layout and integrates glass from Masonite’s strategic glass providers.

Doors Make the Space

The results of the project have helped Masonite’s team internally while also giving the company ideas helping clients achieve their design goals through proper door selection. As Heckes explains:

“Our company vision is to open new doors for our customers, partners and employees and we pride ourselves in a culture that promotes new ideas and inclusiveness. This new, state-of-the-art headquarters will lay the framework for helping our teams here in Tampa, as well as our employees, partners and customers around the globe, discover all-new ways to walk through walls.”

For your next office design project, explore all that Masonite Architectural has to offer for every part of the office environment. Find the door performance features you need along with a wide range of design features and finish options to create exactly the right look.