Gregory Creek House Update: Stair Design and Fabrication
By Jordan Crawford
Architects maintain a healthy obsession with stairs. Whether it is the magic of elevating a user to a higher point of view, the way in which a curve spirals into the sky, or the intricate connections between each stair component, stair design offers endless possibilities in sculptural creativity.
For the Gregory Creek House, the initial concept for the stair began as compound curve that spiraled upwards to the master suite, from the main level and basement below. Collaboration with the client and within our team revealed an opportunity to integrate a playful and sculptural element into the space through the stair design.
During conceptual design, the stair was composed of a frame wall that supported floating treads and a steel cable handrail. As the design evolved, steel fins at varying thicknesses were introduced in lieu of the framed wall, allowing light from the upper level to permeate below. Depending on the user’s orientation with the stair, the steel fins create visual interest through varying shadow qualities and perspectives. Another aspect of the stair that received special focus from our team was the ergonomics of the design, ensuring ease, flow, and functionality. Beyond meeting code, a careful analysis of the progression and spacing of stair treads ensured comfort of use.
The stair installation was a big day on-site. Because the stair is such a special element in the space, there was additional excitement and anticipation in monitoring its translation from 2D design to physical form. Dominique described the various teams involved in the stair fabrication and installation as “an orchestra.” Every team has a role to play in the process – and when coming together, an effect is achieved that is greater than the sum of the individual parts. The teams from Quality Metal Fabricators and Jeff Becker Construction were equally passionate about fully realizing the stair design, and it was an exciting day to see it come together.
Final assembly and adjustments on the stair are ongoing, as the Gregory Creek Home enters the home stretch of construction. We look forward to sharing photos of the completed project, stairs and all, in the New Year.