Building an Elliptical Stair...

Posted on by Lauren M

At first glance, it seems to defy gravity... But, there's (almost) always a way to realize a design in built form through careful coordination between architect, engineer, contractors. Not always a simple matter, but a good team can get the job done.


Which is just the case for this elliptical stair design, whose renderings we shared a while back...

Collaborating as project designer with Horst Architects in Laguna Beach, this custom residential project has beautiful detailing throughout, but the floating walnut-clad stair that greets you upon entry creates an immediate statement.


Since the structure is formed of a monolithic concrete pour, the framing for that pour is the most labor-intensive component, requiring precision in every regard.  As seen in the images below, the form necessitated extensive framing, made even more complex by the curvalinear design, incorporating multiple radii to achieve the elongated, elliptical effect.


While the curved glass railings are still waiting to be installed, the majority of the construction for this unique sculptural element is completed, and it should be even more striking once completed and in the context of this contemporary and unique residence.  

We'll let you know how it turns out!