My grandparents owned a beautiful Victorian home with these heavy, oak pocket doors that separatedVictorian Home that inspired the Science Fiction Portal Build the dining room from the sitting room.  As a child, these doors were quite scary.  They were very heavy, so it took a little bit of effort to get them moving — and, once rumbling down their tracks — even more effort to slow them down.  If I wasn’t careful, I would pinch my little fingers between these large doors: slamming the doors together was a no-no.  Little did I realize that these fearsome doors would bury themselves deep in my heart, transform, and be reborn anew in my own home.

Years Later

The story picks up many years later when I wanted to build a wall in my basement to block off my workshop and act as a dust barrier.  A simple swinging door would not do.  This was a workshop.  One should be inspired when approaching it.  The entrance should be more than mundane or average.  The entrance must inspire!

My wife and I discussed several options.  We both really love the farm style sliding doors.  Not only do they provide a really nice aesthetic, they would be really easy to install.  However, these doors do not fit tightly against the wall.  While it might be possible to narrow the fit, a better solution seemed to be lurking.  Why not put the sliding doors inside the wall?  Ah, yes!  Let’s build pocket doors.  That would be perfect!

Styling with Science Fiction

With this decision behind us, we had to decide how to style the doors.  At some point around here, Erin and I discussed the idea of doing something completely different.  After all, this is in the basement.  No one will ever see it – why not do some really…different?  Thus the next search began.  After a brief journey through a dozen different styles, we converged on something that would be distinctly me – some sort of science fiction airlock. 

Searching around Google for “science fiction airlock,” my eyes quickly fell upon this design.  Cue up Survivor, the search is over.

Science Fiction Airlock
Airlock designed by Fredrick Stertman, inspired by some concept work on Quake 4 by Paul Richard. More information here:

There were some other concepts similar to this design (I didn’t realize until this writing that the design was inspired from some Quake 4 concept art).  Regardless, this inspired the actual build.

The next post will take us on a tour of the final project.  Then we’ll jump into the build process!