lightCASE was designed as a solution for the need to create an external stair-structure in a fictitious site – the only parameters given for this project was that the staircase needed to cover three stories and not was no to exceed the limits of the two-hundred foot brick facade it would be attaching to. The idea for lightCASE was to create a light, open, and efficient stairwell that could be manufactured quickly and with few disciplines needing to be involved. The light and open concept for lightCASE is further enhanced through the minimal amount of connections to the existing building so the staircase appears to hang rather than acting as it’s own independent entity.
The design is centered around the idea of taking laminated wooden ribs that together create an undulating form that opens and closes at different points along the user’s trip from the first to third floor. Wrapped by the undulating wooden forms is an almost entirely glass stairwell that is supposed to give the user the feeling of solely walking on the wooden members. At each of the landings the wooden wrap peels away allowing views to the nearby context and then closes up again when the treads begin, pushing the user to the next level. The interior of the staircase is a bright green to help create a visual intrigue from the exterior, as you only see glances of the stair interior depending on where you are standing.
view from plaza towards lightCASE addition
close up view of lightCASE
construction detail of landing and connection to existing building
separation of class enclosure and wooden ribs
exploded axon showing components of lightCASE
detail of undulating wooden ribs