Step one was to preserve this historic residence as much as possible – the next steps were to use non-structural solutions to make everything else feel dynamic and modern. How fun is this result? The floating staircase literally named “Emmental” mimics a block of cheese with lots of holes.
In elevation (or section) the copious perforations draw the eye to this offbeat centerpiece while also opening up views and letting light across the room, as does the absence of risers – all the more fun for the two young children of the clients.
In plan, the odd-angled steps add another element of playfulness (as well as functionality, for the staircase is rather rather steep).
“Since it is centrally located in the apartment, it inevitably had to be treated as the focal points of the space. Its suspended encasement divides living room from dining room and kitchen. It provides certain level of intimacy without isolating these spaces. The circular perforations on the sides let the sunlight seep through, creating surfaces that change the dynamics of the whole interior. The motif for circles was inspired by large windows that another focus point of the apartment. As they remind a lot of holes in cheese, the project was named Emmental Stairs.”
“Apart from being used for its original function, this ‘object’ features a playful touch for children as well. It is used as an inspirational toy, that boosts their imagination and develops their creativity. Due to technical restraints the slope of the stairs had to be kept quite steep. This was somewhat eased through usage of angled treads that complements the visual effect of the stairs. “
At the bottom, the piece was additional held off the floor, reinforcing its role as an additive element that might indeed one day be removed should other aspects of the building be restored. (Stairs by Biljana Jovanovic and photos by Gerardo Altemir)