Revolving door

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A historic revolving door

A revolving door , also colloquially revolving door called english revolving door or rotating door , consists of two to four attached to a vertical central axis of the door wings that rotate in a circular housing. Such a door allows more people to enter at the same time than a normal door.


The technical term revolving door is mainly used by manufacturers as well as in standards and regulations. The term revolving door has established itself colloquially .

The installation of a revolving door saves energy, especially in large structures such as high-rise buildings that are entered and left by many people, as it inhibits the draft and thus contributes to reducing heating or cooling costs. For smaller buildings, however, installing a revolving door is not worthwhile because the high purchase price will not be amortized due to the reduced traffic .

Revolving doors are either operated manually or are equipped with a drive that is adapted to the walking pace and a safety brake. The drive can be switched on permanently or only switch on under sensor control when people approach the door.

In countries with right-hand traffic such as Germany, revolving doors always turn counterclockwise . Entrance and exit are then on the right-hand side. In countries with left-hand traffic, revolving doors generally rotate clockwise so that the entrance and exit are on the left. The video in the picture gallery shows two revolving doors installed side by side in London City Hall. One rotates counterclockwise to suit the habits of most continental Europeans while the other rotates clockwise to suit most Commonwealth visitors .

Revolving doors are not barrier-free in the sense of DIN 18040 "Barrier-free building".

Isolation systems are not revolving doors, even if their functional principle is similar.


Drawing of the storm door by Theophilus Van Kannel

On December 22nd, 1881, the Berliner H. Bockhacker received the German patent DE18349 for his "door without drafts", but did not market it any further.

The Dutch-American inventor Theophilus Van Kannel (1841-1919) received on August 7, 1888 US Patent 387.571 (the terms for its "storm door" design revolving door or revolving door have not been used). The patent drawing shows a three-part revolving door (see graphic on the right).

In his patent specification , Van Kannel lists some of the advantages of his "storm door" compared to a door of conventional design:

"It will be evident that a storm-door structure of the character shown and described possesses numerous advantages over a hinged-door structure of the usual character, for, as the door fits snugly in the casing, it is perfectly noiseless in its operation and Effectually prevents the entrance of wind, snow, rain, or dust either when it is closed or when persons are passing through it. Moreover, the door cannot be blown open by the wind, as the pressure is equal on both sides of the center of motion, and the door can be moved without noticeable resistance, as it requires no springs or weights to restore it to its closed position or any bumpers to prevent slamming. Further than this, as the door moves in but one direction, there is no possibility of collision and yet persons can pass both in and out at the same time. "

- Theophilus Van Kannel: Abstract to patent specification 387,571 of August 7, 1888

“It is obvious that a storm door construction as shown and described above has a number of advantages over a door with a conventional hinge design, since - if the door fits exactly into the housing - it is absolutely noiseless in operation and both effectively prevents the ingress of wind, snow, rain or dust when the door is closed and when people walk through. In addition, the door cannot be opened by the wind because the pressure on both sides of the pivot axis is the same. And the door can be moved without noticeable resistance as it doesn't need springs or weights to return it to the closed position, nor any bumpers to prevent slamming. Since the door only rotates in one direction, collisions are impossible and people can still get in and out at the same time. "

- Theophilus Van Kannel: Free translation of the abstract of the patent specification 387,571 of August 7, 1888

In 1889, the Franklin Institute of Philadelphia awarded Theophilus Van Kannel the John Scott Legacy Medal for his invention. In 1899, the world's first wooden revolving door was installed in a restaurant in Times Square in Manhattan. The “Rector's Restaurant” advertised this innovation under the motto: “Always open, always closed”.

In 2007, Theophilus Van Kannel was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame .

Hazard potential

Revolving doors in particular pose a mechanical hazard. When entering and exiting, the main closing edge of the rotating door leaf and the opposing closing edge of the fixed housing can cause crushing to the head , torso and limbs . A revolving door that rotates too quickly in relation to the walking speed of the person using it can particularly bump into old and frail people and even cause them to fall. In addition, revolving doors are not suitable as escape doors because they cannot be passed through quickly.

The Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs has issued minimum standards for the categorization of barrier-free hotels and restaurants, according to which a carousel or rotating door is the only access to an accommodation facility that is not permitted.

1942 came to the United States at the Cocoanut Grove nightclub in Boston 492 people mainly because the only existing revolving door at the output in the resulting panic killed.

In 2004 an accident occurred at Cologne-Bonn Airport in which a small child was trapped between the outer ring of the housing and the glass door leaf and died.

Constructive security measures

Since the standards valid up to then for Germany were rated as insufficient, the new DIN 18650 "Automatic Door Systems" standard was issued in December 2005, which defines new safety standards for all automatic door systems including power-operated revolving doors that were brought into circulation after this point in time. In implementation of this DIN standard, emergency stop switches and the like are used for revolving doors . a. the following protective devices are required:

Contact safety edges

Contact safety edge (red frame) on the opposing closing edge and sealing brush (blue frame) on the main closing edge

Contact switching strips attached to the main closing edges and in the bottom area of ​​the door leaves as well as the opposing closing edges of the housing are made of an electrically conductive rubber. Two conductive contact surfaces are embedded in it at a small distance. When the profile of the contact strip is deformed, these touch each other at any point by pressing and close an electrical switching contact, which sends a switching pulse to the drive and immediately switches it off and activates the safety brake. If the deformation is reversed, the contact with the contact surfaces is interrupted and the electrical switching contact is opened again. The safety brake is released and the drive is started again. This type of securing revolving doors has the disadvantage that it is only triggered by a minimum pressure. The dangerous situation has already occurred and a person or an object is already slightly trapped. Contact safety edges are often used together with sensors.


Sensors built into revolving doors belong to the non-contact protective devices and stop the drive immediately as soon as a person steps into the area of ​​the revolving door monitored by them. At the same time they activate the safety brake. If the person leaves this area again, the safety brake is released and the drive is restarted. So be secured

  • Main and counter closing edge at the entrance and exit of the revolving door, so that no one can be trapped when entering or exiting the revolving door;
  • the inner surfaces of the door leaves so that slow people cannot be brought down by a revolving door that turns too quickly.

In addition, sensors are used in modern revolving doors to monitor the entry area and the space between the door leaves in order to determine whether a person wants to use the revolving door or is currently using it. This saves energy for the drive, since the revolving door is only in operation as required (note the left revolving door at the end of the video in the picture gallery).

Emergency openings

The door leaves of modern revolving doors can be opened in an emergency such as B. fold to the side of a fire and thus open up the entire width of the passage. This function is also used to free people who are trapped in a revolving door in the event of a power failure.

See also


  • James Buzard: revolving door. Permanent upheaval. In: Arch +. Vol. 41, No. 191/192, 2009, ISSN  0587-3452 , pp. 39-44 .

Web links

Commons : Revolving Doors  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: revolving door  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Patent STORM-DOOR STRUCTURE 387,571 at Google Patents ; Retrieved August 15, 2013.
  2. ^ Prize winners database of the Franklin Institute - data set Van Kannel ; accessed on August 16, 2013.
  3. Irving Lewis Allen: The city in slang. New York life and popular speech. Oxford University Press, New York NY 1993, ISBN 0-19-509265-1 , p. 126.
  4. “The miracle of technology - The Super Tower”, TV documentary about the luxury hotel “ Burj al Arab ” in Dubai (broadcast on September 15, 2016 on n-tv ).
  5. Inventors Hall of Fame ( Memento of the original from August 27, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. ; accessed on August 16, 2013.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  6. a b Trade Association Information (BGI) 5043 "Safety of power-operated revolving doors" (PDF; 1.5 MB); accessed on August 16, 2013.
  7. Minimum standards for the categorization of barrier-free hotels and restaurants in Germany. Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, accessed on June 26, 2018 .
  8. ^ Spiegel Online: Cologne-Bonn Airport: Small child crushed by revolving door ; accessed on August 16, 2013.