For better or worse, staircases are often centerpieces of a room (or whole home) by virtue of their location and necessary displacement of significant space – in this case, they became a creative series of focal points, each one different from the last.
One set of steps (above) wraps up into thin air, bending horizontally into treads then vertically back into risers (with a mid-floor landing to provide structural support). Another (below) sticks boldly out from a side wall, black stripes against a white backdrop.
The last series again hugs a side wall, but has a softer presence – white on white, origami-like as they disappear into the second story. And if that were not enough, there is a sleek little ladder for accessing bookshelves along one wall as well. In each case, they manage to facilitate transitions between tones and styles while acting independently as decorative touches too. Designed by Roberto Murgia, the project is called “4 Lofts on the Ships.”
“A large abandoned industrial district reborn thanks to new settlements. The Belgian factory ‘Schlumberger Industries’ (25,000 m2) which produced precision instruments, since 1996 has been transformed into a center of creativity: design, fashion, advertising, art and architecture. The clients are four friends who buy a portion on the street front, on the first floor. Now the four friends I want to make a home that is also a work space, public but private, therefore of strong representation but safeguarding private intimacy. The space is divided into four parts of the same size with a height of 7.5 meters available to each. The section is very simple, it seems to have been designed by a child, it is less simple to imagine these spaces for a designer, a photographer and two directors. Equal space, different needs and cultures.”
“Friends, lighting designers, artists, architects, cinematographers and costume designers are also present at the discussions and exchanges of ideas. The result of many comparisons and disquisitions has led to four different spaces, with clear contrasts and unequivocal imitations. Each of them had a very precise idea of what their home-work space should be like but could not have translated it into architectural language. Different materials for different imaginations, different spaces for different lives, different colors for different dreams, bathtubs against a single shower, identity against uniformity. The project, as a whole, has been transformed into a variant of the possibilities, a catalog of the imaginable, a composition of the variables.”