A Daring Stack of Wood: Spiral Staircase in Rzeszow
Text: Emilia Margaretha
This staircase, made of massive blocks of wood, is load-bearing only as the sum of its constituent parts. It evokes associations of a popular game of dexterity.
Architect: QC, Lucjan Kuc, Rzeszow
Location: Rzeszow, Poland
The concept consisted in joining an apartment with its newly opened-up attic in order to create more comfortable, stylish and functional space. The first level houses an open-plan, flexible living area with a kitchen. The wall surface above the kitchen counter can be used as a viewing surface for a projector and thus extends the living room as needed. The private areas, the bedroom, dressing area and bathroom are located on the second storey.
Both levels of the apartment, which measures 60 m² in total, are connected via the stairway made of massive wooden blocks that has been constructed in the entryway. The steps are glued together and connected by means of steel rebar; a few have been anchored to the wall as well. As material, the architect chose spruce, a type of wood commonly found in the region. Furthermore, the simple design meant that the staircase could be assembled and installed in just a few hours. This kept the cost within the modest budget of the young client: the wood cost a mere Euro 150.
In order to avoid warping and damaging the steps over time, the wood had to be repeatedly dried out over a number of months. Each step was soaked in water after each step in the procedure in order to achieve the desired hardness. This process revealed the final surfaces of the steps before they were installed, so further warping would no longer be an issue.
More projects on this topic in DETAIL 4/2014 "Stairs, Ramps, Lifts"