Villa Mallorca copper staircase installed

Forget the fantastic nature of its construction for a moment and simply admire the intrinsic beauty of this staircase as an object in and of itself.

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Villa Mallorca copper staircase detail

Next, though, feel free to marvel at how it was made – twelve thousand perforations were created using a CNC water jet machine, a device that concentrates high-speed liquid mixed with an abrasive substance to slice through metal or granite. This approach is particularly useful when dealing with a material that might melt or deform using normal laser-cutting techniques.

Villa Mallorca copper staircase top
Villa Mallorca copper staircase top

Architects Sergey Mishin and Katya Larina of Studio Mishin teamed up with Daniel Llofriu Pou and Alberto Arguimbau of Arup to build a beautifully illuminated, perforated copper staircase for Michin’s new Villa Mallorca.

Villa Mallorca copper staircase pattern

Spanning over three floors, the project required more than 2,000 square feet of composite panel, constructed from a combination of structural timber and treated copper. The resulting staircase is a both centerpiece within the finished interior, providing playful contrast against walls of gray stone and concrete, and a point of connection, filtering light to create amazing patterns on these same surfaces on various levels.

“Designed by Studio Mishin, the architect´s vision was to build an imposing perforated copper staircase at the heart of the building. The structure spans three floors and creates a visual link to the perforated copper panels throughout the interior and exterior of the building.”

Villa Mallorca copper staircase making

“Arup was commissioned to complete this vision and deliver the specialist advice needed to finish the detailed design, engineering and construction of this unique proposal; as well as to develop a lighting design concept.”

“The design of the structure is based on a limited set of panel types and geometries installed in such a way that the connections are barely visible. At an early stage, Arup noticed the existing wall lighting would not be sufficient and so proposed a new approach to provide both functional and decorative lighting design.”

Villa Mallorca copper staircase

“The use of backlighting with specially integrated fibre optics accentuates the perforations of the composite panels, and dramatic lighting from above reveals the texture and detail of the copper and laminated wood. The result is a clad with almost 200m² of composite panel, including treated copper, bonded and structural timber with approximately 12,000 perforations made by a CNC water jet cutter.”

Get more behind-the-scenes info on the making of this staircase from Arup.