Architectural Feature

Zack/de Vito Architecture
San Francisco

zackdevito.com

Project name: Laidley Street Residence
Project location: San Francisco
Square footage: 2,998
Total project cost: $1.55 million

The goal was to design a stair that was inventive, expressive of its materials, detail and craft and that allowed light to be transmitted from the large skylight above to the floors below. This three-level home is located on a steep down-sloping, urban infill lot so one of the primary challenges was to introduce daylight into the middle of the building and down to the lowest level which is half-buried into the hillside.

One project goal was to maximize daylighting in as many ways possible, to minimize the use of electric lighting despite the vertical nature of the project. A secondary goal was to utilize technology and off-site fabrication to lessen the build time and lower labor costs. To this end the architects designed an open-stair core with a stair of minimal structure: water-jet cut 1/2-in. steel stingers, translucent acrylic treads and risers with steel and glass guardrails. The minimal structure and translucency allow light from the large, operable skylight above to flood the stairwell with light through all three floors of the building. The mahogany handrail, supported by custom stainless steel brackets, provides a warm touch, tempering the hard-edge materials used for the structure and enhancing the user’s experience.

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