stairs

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Art

A Vibrant, Geometric Rug Cascades Down a Staircase in a New Mural by Jessie and Katey

August 20, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Jessie and Katey, shared with permission. By Shauna Caldwell

To create the brightly colored textile that cloaks a three-level staircase on the Appalachian State University campus, artists Jessie Unterhalter and Katey Truhn (previously) imagined the concrete steps as a massive loom. They drew grids on the outdoor structure to map out where each individual strip would start, end, and intersect with the larger geometric forms. “There was a lot of math involved, getting the angles and perspective right was a challenge but eventually everything locked into place,” the Baltimore-based duo, who are known as Jessie and Katey, shares with Colossal.

Evoking the quilts and other textiles that are traditional to Appalachia, the large-scale artwork is composed of vivid gradients layered into a complex web of stripes and woven patches. Neutral-toned tassels line the angled edge at the bottom of the staircase, giving the flat mural the appearance of a rug.

This public artwork is just one Jessie and Katey have undertaken in recent months. Many of their projects that were postponed due to COVID-19 are reconvening, bringing the pair to Las Vegas, Washington D.C., and a few spots in North Carolina. Although the actual painting process is solitary, Jessie and Katey say they’ve enjoyed seeing how people are experiencing outdoor art since the onset of the pandemic. “It’s really rewarding watching the work get embraced by the public. People get really creative with it, and murals end up becoming a part of the community,” they say.

To see where the duo is headed next, follow them on Instagram, and check out the prints available in their shop.

 

 

 



Design

A Massive Faux Staircase Punctuates A Glass-Sided Home Before Flowing into an Outdoor Garden

April 4, 2020

Grace Ebert

The design team at Nendo knew they’d need a way to connect the three generations—and eight cats—living inside a newly constructed home in the Shinjuku area of Tokyo, so they created an enormous staircase. Spanning from the outdoor garden to the third floor, the steel-and-concrete structure isn’t designed for climbing between floors but does serve as a multi-level garden area and space for the cats to lounge. It also conceals bathrooms and the staircase residents actually will use, while the white-paneled walls hold additional storage.

Aptly named Stairway House, the interruptive project juxtaposes connection and separation within one home, the design studio said in a statement.

A stairway and greenery gently connected the upper and lower floors along a diagonal line, creating a space where all three generations could take comfort in each other’s subtle presence. Not only does the stairway connect the interior to the yard, or bond one household to another, this structure aims to expand further out to join the environs and the city —connecting the road that extends southward on the ground level, and out into skylight through the toplight.

While a white facade masks the front of the house, the back is covered in windows that face the mature persimmon tree preserved on the property. For more of Nendo’s disruptive architecture, head to Instagram. (via Dezeen)

 

 



Design

A 10-Ton Copper Staircase Designed by CEBRA Floats Above Copenhagen's Redesigned Experimentarium Museum

November 23, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

All images © CEBRA and photographer Adam Mørk

A twisting set of floating copper staircases intertwine at the main entrance of Copenhagen’s new science and technology center, the Experimentarium. The museum, and its four-story Helix staircases, were designed by Danish architecture studio CEBRA who wanted to create a subtle nod to the institution’s science-based curriculum. The design is an abstract version of a DNA strand’s composition at an extraordinary scale. At over 300 feet long, the staircase includes 20,000 pounds of copper and 320,000 pounds of steel.

CEBRA won an international architecture competition to design the building in 2011. In addition to doubling the exhibition space of the Experimentarium’s original building, the re-design also includes a roof terrace, new staff facilities overlooking the museum, and convention center, and a large cafe and picnic area. You can see more images of the build-out, and CEBRA’s designs on their website and Instagram. (via ArchDaily)

 

 



Design

Uplift: An Endlessly Rotating Stair Sculpture Powered by the Sun

May 21, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Uplift is a architecturally-minded desk sculpture that slowly rotates using the power of the sun. The walnut work hovers inside a glass bell jar, powered by a steel and brass mechanism that allows the staircase endlessly rotate. The mesmerizing design was invented by friends Tom Lawton and Ben Jandrell, seasoned inventors who spent the last two years optimizing the technology behind the spinning object.

The first generation of Uplift sculptures are currently produced by the pair in Lawton’s home town of Malmesbury, UK, and are being funded through Kickstarter. You can see more of Lawton’s inventions, like this motion-activated running light he co-invented with Jandrell, on his website.

 

 



Art

80-Year-Old Wooden Escalators are Repurposed as a Sculptural Ribbon by Artist Chris Fox

December 5, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Photos by Josh Raymond / Chris Cox

Artist Chris Fox was tasked with repurposing two pairs of timber escalators that were first installed at Sydney’s Wynyard Station in 1931. The escalators have carried passengers for over 80 years and slowly became an iconic symbol of the city’s identity. Fox’s solution is Interloop, a twisting, accordion-like ribbon that is now suspended from the station ceiling, stitching together 244 wooden escalator treads in an otherworldly design.

Fox says Interloop is intended to permanently enshrine the motion of the escalators while also communicating that passengers remain stationary while riding them. The piece is the final step in a significant overhaul of the station that now features new elevators and escalators, a larger concourse, and improvements to ventilation and ticketing.

You can read more about Interloop and the history of Wynyard Station in the Sydney Morning Herald, and see more photos and behind-the-scenes process shots on Chris Fox’s website. (thnx, Evan!)

 

 



Design

A Japanese Home Designed Around a Climbable Earthquake-Proof Bookshelf

December 4, 2017

Johnny Waldman

Floor-to-ceiling bookshelves are lovely, and can act as a robust focal point in any home, though accessing the high shelves can be a problem. The common sidekick has always been ladders which can also add character and charm, but for smaller homes like in Japan they can be a nuisance, occupying too much space for not enough usage. Japanese architect Shinsuke Fujii came up with a simple, yet brilliant solution that solves another problem too: earthquake safety.

The “House in Shinyoshida,” as it’s called, named for the neighborhood in Yokohama where it stands, was conceived shortly after the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake. The client, who happened to be an avid book lover, approached Fujii with the task to design a home around a large bookshelf that’s both easily accessible but also one that won’t spill all the books if there’s ever a tremor.

The solution was to slant the entire western-facing façade and create a built-in slanted bookshelf whose shelves also function as a ladder. The slant allows family members of all ages to climb up and reach books, but also keeps the books from falling should an earthquake ever shake the home. The slanted façade also has the effect of creating an open feeling in the family room, where the home’s high perch allows for plenty of sunlight to enter through the large windows. (Syndicated from Spoon & Tamago)