The project for a two story apartment in a converted racquet club in down town Ann Arbor reconfigures and redistributes the spatial arrangements of the apartment within the 20’ x 40’ volume of an existing racquetball court. The tight spatial constraints and the single exterior orientation led to a spatial strategy of consolidation. Special emphasis was placed on the spiral stair as a necessary element used to minimize the space allocated to vertical circulation and as the main space defining element- unfurling it across the width of the apartment. The stair allowing access to ta mezzanine is situated as a sculptural element minimizing it footprint, but maximizing it spatial presence as the stair ascends stretching across the full width of the apartment. The stair guardrail is treated as a singular surface as a way to spatially extend the presence of the stair as the main architectural element of the apartment. Stainless steel panels were laser cut using CNC fabrication technology allowing a consistent pattern to unify the panels yet gradually change the visual porosity of the railing. Each step was cut from a single sheet of steel that was then folded into a single tread and riser. All assembly was done offsite for proper fitting then disassembled and brought to the site for field adjustment before then powder –coating to achieve an overall uniformity and continuity. The stair itself was slightly oversized to gain a more generous ascent than the typical 30 degree spiral stair; also the 2 top risers were given a custom configuration allowing the stair and user to gracefully transition to the upper level landing.
Project Location | Ann Arbor, Michigan
Status | Completed, 2011