These weighty industrial-looking steps span between two stories of a split-level flat and are clearly designed to stand out – a rough-hewn centerpiece to a minimalist modern apartment.
Studio QC created them for a small Polish residence of a young couple seeking peace, quiet and simplicity but punctuated lively accents as well. A mirror on the main floor extends the sense of space and reflects the staircase.
The layout is divided into two discrete zones – upstairs for nighttime uses and downstairs for daytime functions. Thus, the stairwell makes for a prominent and almost processional experience – a kind of monumental connector joining these two separate areas of occupation.
The steps themselves are held together by hidden metal anchors running up through their center and attaching them to the walls for further support and stabilization.
In another environment, they might look too heavy and rustic. But with these minimalist modern surroundings, they’re given a chance to shine, adding a sense of solidity and connection to nature.
“‘The idea was to make the stairs a ‘box on box’, composed of monolithic wooden steps prepared for easy assembly for any handyman,” architect Lucjan Kuc told Dezeen.
To give each block a unique worn appearance, Kuc poured water over the wood and then dried it out in a kiln so the material would expand and crack.
‘The only problem was the drying of such large dimensions; to obtain a satisfactory result the wood was dried three times in the kiln dryer. This process made the wood hard, so it deforms and is lightly cracked in a definitive way.’
‘The reason for drying parts of the stairs was the only technical solution, but the final ‘weathered effect’ can add a whole charm,’ he added.
The staircase connects an open-plan kitchen and living room on the ground floor with a first-floor bedroom and bathroom.”