SEA CLIFF RESIDENCE - STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN

This residential stair dramatically connects three floors in a new San Francisco home that we were the architects and interior designers for. The entry area of this house was wide but shallow and hence the shape of the stair was designed as a flattened ellipse but not a pure ellipse – hence ellipsoidal. Moreover, at each floor the radii of the railing walls are different to create a subtle spatial dynamic. It’s quite complicated in actuality, but the result is of elegant simplicity and lightness, which was the intention. Sculpted shapes like this were more common during the Baroque era inRome – especially the churches that were designed by the masterful Italian architect Borromini who had a flair for creating unexpected radicality.

Aside from the practical aspects of connecting three floors of domesticity, it’s the vertical and essential counterpoint to the stacked horizontality of the house and is further accentuated with natural light from the large skylight that is also ellipsoidal, which brings in that special California light. The carefully proportioned treads with open risers allow light to reach further down while creating shadow play. They also allow for views from the library to the living room and to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge beyond.  From an artistic perception. it's designed to be the poetic sculpture of the house - to be admired from above, below, and laterally in three directions. It constantly changes based on the viewer's position, changing light, and intoxication.

 The steps are bleached walnut, the walls and railings are curved plaster, and the handrail is ebonized walnut with blackened steel pegs fora floating effect. The design was created in a series of design stages that started with pencil sketches and led to computer models and resulted in carefully dimensioned plans sections and details to build from.  During construction there was a concentrated collaboration with the craftsmen. Mock-ups were created for the tightest curves and the handrail. The rest of the house now pays homage to the stair.

LOCATION: SAN FRANCISCO, CA

COMPLETED: JANUARY 2020

CASS CALDER SMITH TEAM

DESIGN PRINCIPAL: CASS CALDER SMITH

PROJECT ARCHITECT: BJÖRN STEUDTE

INTERIOR DESIGN DIRECTOR: BARBARA TURPIN-VICKROY

DESIGNERS: NATHAN REED, EVELYN MURPHY

GENERAL CONTRACTOR: MOROSO CONSTRUCTION

PHOTOGRAPHY: CESAR RUBIO

LOCATION: SAN FRANCISCO, CA

COMPLETED: JANUARY 2020

CASS CALDER SMITH TEAM

DESIGN PRINCIPAL: CASS CALDER SMITH

PROJECT ARCHITECT: BJÖRN STEUDTE

INTERIOR DESIGN DIRECTOR: BARBARA TURPIN-VICKROY

DESIGNERS: NATHAN REED, EVELYN MURPHY

GENERAL CONTRACTOR: MOROSO CONSTRUCTION

PHOTOGRAPHY: CESAR RUBIO

SEA CLIFF RESIDENCE - STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN

This residential stair dramatically connects three floors in a new San Francisco home that we were the architects and interior designers for. The entry area of this house was wide but shallow and hence the shape of the stair was designed as a flattened ellipse but not a pure ellipse – hence ellipsoidal. Moreover, at each floor the radii of the railing walls are different to create a subtle spatial dynamic. It’s quite complicated in actuality, but the result is of elegant simplicity and lightness, which was the intention. Sculpted shapes like this were more common during the Baroque era inRome – especially the churches that were designed by the masterful Italian architect Borromini who had a flair for creating unexpected radicality.

Aside from the practical aspects of connecting three floors of domesticity, it’s the vertical and essential counterpoint to the stacked horizontality of the house and is further accentuated with natural light from the large skylight that is also ellipsoidal, which brings in that special California light. The carefully proportioned treads with open risers allow light to reach further down while creating shadow play. They also allow for views from the library to the living room and to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge beyond.  From an artistic perception. it's designed to be the poetic sculpture of the house - to be admired from above, below, and laterally in three directions. It constantly changes based on the viewer's position, changing light, and intoxication.

 The steps are bleached walnut, the walls and railings are curved plaster, and the handrail is ebonized walnut with blackened steel pegs fora floating effect. The design was created in a series of design stages that started with pencil sketches and led to computer models and resulted in carefully dimensioned plans sections and details to build from.  During construction there was a concentrated collaboration with the craftsmen. Mock-ups were created for the tightest curves and the handrail. The rest of the house now pays homage to the stair.

SEA CLIFF RESIDENCE - STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN

This residential stair dramatically connects three floors in a new San Francisco home that we were the architects and interior designers for. The entry area of this house was wide but shallow and hence the shape of the stair was designed as a flattened ellipse but not a pure ellipse – hence ellipsoidal. Moreover, at each floor the radii of the railing walls are different to create a subtle spatial dynamic. It’s quite complicated in actuality, but the result is of elegant simplicity and lightness, which was the intention. Sculpted shapes like this were more common during the Baroque era inRome – especially the churches that were designed by the masterful Italian architect Borromini who had a flair for creating unexpected radicality.

Aside from the practical aspects of connecting three floors of domesticity, it’s the vertical and essential counterpoint to the stacked horizontality of the house and is further accentuated with natural light from the large skylight that is also ellipsoidal, which brings in that special California light. The carefully proportioned treads with open risers allow light to reach further down while creating shadow play. They also allow for views from the library to the living room and to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge beyond.  From an artistic perception. it's designed to be the poetic sculpture of the house - to be admired from above, below, and laterally in three directions. It constantly changes based on the viewer's position, changing light, and intoxication.

 The steps are bleached walnut, the walls and railings are curved plaster, and the handrail is ebonized walnut with blackened steel pegs fora floating effect. The design was created in a series of design stages that started with pencil sketches and led to computer models and resulted in carefully dimensioned plans sections and details to build from.  During construction there was a concentrated collaboration with the craftsmen. Mock-ups were created for the tightest curves and the handrail. The rest of the house now pays homage to the stair.

LOCATION: SAN FRANCISCO, CA

COMPLETED: JANUARY 2020

CASS CALDER SMITH TEAM

DESIGN PRINCIPAL: CASS CALDER SMITH

PROJECT ARCHITECT: BJÖRN STEUDTE

INTERIOR DESIGN DIRECTOR: BARBARA TURPIN-VICKROY

DESIGNERS: NATHAN REED, EVELYN MURPHY

GENERAL CONTRACTOR: MOROSO CONSTRUCTION

PHOTOGRAPHY: CESAR RUBIO

Sea Cliff Residence Stairs

SEA CLIFF RESIDENCE - STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN

This residential stair dramatically connects three floors in a new San Francisco home that we were the architects and interior designers for. The entry area of this house was wide but shallow and hence the shape of the stair was designed as a flattened ellipse but not a pure ellipse – hence ellipsoidal. Moreover, at each floor the radii of the railing walls are different to create a subtle spatial dynamic. It’s quite complicated in actuality, but the result is of elegant simplicity and lightness, which was the intention. Sculpted shapes like this were more common during the Baroque era inRome – especially the churches that were designed by the masterful Italian architect Borromini who had a flair for creating unexpected radicality.

Aside from the practical aspects of connecting three floors of domesticity, it’s the vertical and essential counterpoint to the stacked horizontality of the house and is further accentuated with natural light from the large skylight that is also ellipsoidal, which brings in that special California light. The carefully proportioned treads with open risers allow light to reach further down while creating shadow play. They also allow for views from the library to the living room and to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge beyond.  From an artistic perception. it's designed to be the poetic sculpture of the house - to be admired from above, below, and laterally in three directions. It constantly changes based on the viewer's position, changing light, and intoxication.

 The steps are bleached walnut, the walls and railings are curved plaster, and the handrail is ebonized walnut with blackened steel pegs fora floating effect. The design was created in a series of design stages that started with pencil sketches and led to computer models and resulted in carefully dimensioned plans sections and details to build from.  During construction there was a concentrated collaboration with the craftsmen. Mock-ups were created for the tightest curves and the handrail. The rest of the house now pays homage to the stair.

LOCATION: SAN FRANCISCO, CA

COMPLETED: JANUARY 2020

CASS CALDER SMITH TEAM

DESIGN PRINCIPAL: CASS CALDER SMITH

PROJECT ARCHITECT: BJÖRN STEUDTE

INTERIOR DESIGN DIRECTOR: BARBARA TURPIN-VICKROY

DESIGNERS: NATHAN REED, EVELYN MURPHY

GENERAL CONTRACTOR: MOROSO CONSTRUCTION

PHOTOGRAPHY: CESAR RUBIO

SEA CLIFF RESIDENCE - STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN

This residential stair dramatically connects three floors in a new San Francisco home that we were the architects and interior designers for. The entry area of this house was wide but shallow and hence the shape of the stair was designed as a flattened ellipse but not a pure ellipse – hence ellipsoidal. Moreover, at each floor the radii of the railing walls are different to create a subtle spatial dynamic. It’s quite complicated in actuality, but the result is of elegant simplicity and lightness, which was the intention. Sculpted shapes like this were more common during the Baroque era inRome – especially the churches that were designed by the masterful Italian architect Borromini who had a flair for creating unexpected radicality.

Aside from the practical aspects of connecting three floors of domesticity, it’s the vertical and essential counterpoint to the stacked horizontality of the house and is further accentuated with natural light from the large skylight that is also ellipsoidal, which brings in that special California light. The carefully proportioned treads with open risers allow light to reach further down while creating shadow play. They also allow for views from the library to the living room and to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge beyond.  From an artistic perception. it's designed to be the poetic sculpture of the house - to be admired from above, below, and laterally in three directions. It constantly changes based on the viewer's position, changing light, and intoxication.

 The steps are bleached walnut, the walls and railings are curved plaster, and the handrail is ebonized walnut with blackened steel pegs fora floating effect. The design was created in a series of design stages that started with pencil sketches and led to computer models and resulted in carefully dimensioned plans sections and details to build from.  During construction there was a concentrated collaboration with the craftsmen. Mock-ups were created for the tightest curves and the handrail. The rest of the house now pays homage to the stair.

LOCATION: SAN FRANCISCO, CA

COMPLETED: JANUARY 2020

CASS CALDER SMITH TEAM

DESIGN PRINCIPAL: CASS CALDER SMITH

PROJECT ARCHITECT: BJÖRN STEUDTE

INTERIOR DESIGN DIRECTOR: BARBARA TURPIN-VICKROY

DESIGNERS: NATHAN REED, EVELYN MURPHY

GENERAL CONTRACTOR: MOROSO CONSTRUCTION

PHOTOGRAPHY: CESAR RUBIO

SEA CLIFF RESIDENCE - STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN

This residential stair dramatically connects three floors in a new San Francisco home that we were the architects and interior designers for. The entry area of this house was wide but shallow and hence the shape of the stair was designed as a flattened ellipse but not a pure ellipse – hence ellipsoidal. Moreover, at each floor the radii of the railing walls are different to create a subtle spatial dynamic. It’s quite complicated in actuality, but the result is of elegant simplicity and lightness, which was the intention. Sculpted shapes like this were more common during the Baroque era inRome – especially the churches that were designed by the masterful Italian architect Borromini who had a flair for creating unexpected radicality.

Aside from the practical aspects of connecting three floors of domesticity, it’s the vertical and essential counterpoint to the stacked horizontality of the house and is further accentuated with natural light from the large skylight that is also ellipsoidal, which brings in that special California light. The carefully proportioned treads with open risers allow light to reach further down while creating shadow play. They also allow for views from the library to the living room and to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge beyond.  From an artistic perception. it's designed to be the poetic sculpture of the house - to be admired from above, below, and laterally in three directions. It constantly changes based on the viewer's position, changing light, and intoxication.

 The steps are bleached walnut, the walls and railings are curved plaster, and the handrail is ebonized walnut with blackened steel pegs fora floating effect. The design was created in a series of design stages that started with pencil sketches and led to computer models and resulted in carefully dimensioned plans sections and details to build from.  During construction there was a concentrated collaboration with the craftsmen. Mock-ups were created for the tightest curves and the handrail. The rest of the house now pays homage to the stair.

LOCATION: SAN FRANCISCO, CA

COMPLETED: JANUARY 2020

CASS CALDER SMITH TEAM

DESIGN PRINCIPAL: CASS CALDER SMITH

PROJECT ARCHITECT: BJÖRN STEUDTE

INTERIOR DESIGN DIRECTOR: BARBARA TURPIN-VICKROY

DESIGNERS: NATHAN REED, EVELYN MURPHY

GENERAL CONTRACTOR: MOROSO CONSTRUCTION

PHOTOGRAPHY: CESAR RUBIO

SEA CLIFF RESIDENCE - STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN

This residential stair dramatically connects three floors in a new San Francisco home that we were the architects and interior designers for. The entry area of this house was wide but shallow and hence the shape of the stair was designed as a flattened ellipse but not a pure ellipse – hence ellipsoidal. Moreover, at each floor the radii of the railing walls are different to create a subtle spatial dynamic. It’s quite complicated in actuality, but the result is of elegant simplicity and lightness, which was the intention. Sculpted shapes like this were more common during the Baroque era inRome – especially the churches that were designed by the masterful Italian architect Borromini who had a flair for creating unexpected radicality.

Aside from the practical aspects of connecting three floors of domesticity, it’s the vertical and essential counterpoint to the stacked horizontality of the house and is further accentuated with natural light from the large skylight that is also ellipsoidal, which brings in that special California light. The carefully proportioned treads with open risers allow light to reach further down while creating shadow play. They also allow for views from the library to the living room and to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge beyond.  From an artistic perception. it's designed to be the poetic sculpture of the house - to be admired from above, below, and laterally in three directions. It constantly changes based on the viewer's position, changing light, and intoxication.

 The steps are bleached walnut, the walls and railings are curved plaster, and the handrail is ebonized walnut with blackened steel pegs fora floating effect. The design was created in a series of design stages that started with pencil sketches and led to computer models and resulted in carefully dimensioned plans sections and details to build from.  During construction there was a concentrated collaboration with the craftsmen. Mock-ups were created for the tightest curves and the handrail. The rest of the house now pays homage to the stair.

LOCATION: SAN FRANCISCO, CA

COMPLETED: JANUARY 2020

CASS CALDER SMITH TEAM

DESIGN PRINCIPAL: CASS CALDER SMITH

PROJECT ARCHITECT: BJÖRN STEUDTE

INTERIOR DESIGN DIRECTOR: BARBARA TURPIN-VICKROY

DESIGNERS: NATHAN REED, EVELYN MURPHY

GENERAL CONTRACTOR: MOROSO CONSTRUCTION

PHOTOGRAPHY: CESAR RUBIO

SEA CLIFF RESIDENCE - STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN

This residential stair dramatically connects three floors in a new San Francisco home that we were the architects and interior designers for. The entry area of this house was wide but shallow and hence the shape of the stair was designed as a flattened ellipse but not a pure ellipse – hence ellipsoidal. Moreover, at each floor the radii of the railing walls are different to create a subtle spatial dynamic. It’s quite complicated in actuality, but the result is of elegant simplicity and lightness, which was the intention. Sculpted shapes like this were more common during the Baroque era inRome – especially the churches that were designed by the masterful Italian architect Borromini who had a flair for creating unexpected radicality.

Aside from the practical aspects of connecting three floors of domesticity, it’s the vertical and essential counterpoint to the stacked horizontality of the house and is further accentuated with natural light from the large skylight that is also ellipsoidal, which brings in that special California light. The carefully proportioned treads with open risers allow light to reach further down while creating shadow play. They also allow for views from the library to the living room and to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge beyond.  From an artistic perception. it's designed to be the poetic sculpture of the house - to be admired from above, below, and laterally in three directions. It constantly changes based on the viewer's position, changing light, and intoxication.

 The steps are bleached walnut, the walls and railings are curved plaster, and the handrail is ebonized walnut with blackened steel pegs fora floating effect. The design was created in a series of design stages that started with pencil sketches and led to computer models and resulted in carefully dimensioned plans sections and details to build from.  During construction there was a concentrated collaboration with the craftsmen. Mock-ups were created for the tightest curves and the handrail. The rest of the house now pays homage to the stair.

LOCATION: SAN FRANCISCO, CA

COMPLETED: JANUARY 2020

CASS CALDER SMITH TEAM

DESIGN PRINCIPAL: CASS CALDER SMITH

PROJECT ARCHITECT: BJÖRN STEUDTE

INTERIOR DESIGN DIRECTOR: BARBARA TURPIN-VICKROY

DESIGNERS: NATHAN REED, EVELYN MURPHY

GENERAL CONTRACTOR: MOROSO CONSTRUCTION

PHOTOGRAPHY: CESAR RUBIO

SEA CLIFF RESIDENCE - STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN

This residential stair dramatically connects three floors in a new San Francisco home that we were the architects and interior designers for. The entry area of this house was wide but shallow and hence the shape of the stair was designed as a flattened ellipse but not a pure ellipse – hence ellipsoidal. Moreover, at each floor the radii of the railing walls are different to create a subtle spatial dynamic. It’s quite complicated in actuality, but the result is of elegant simplicity and lightness, which was the intention. Sculpted shapes like this were more common during the Baroque era inRome – especially the churches that were designed by the masterful Italian architect Borromini who had a flair for creating unexpected radicality.

Aside from the practical aspects of connecting three floors of domesticity, it’s the vertical and essential counterpoint to the stacked horizontality of the house and is further accentuated with natural light from the large skylight that is also ellipsoidal, which brings in that special California light. The carefully proportioned treads with open risers allow light to reach further down while creating shadow play. They also allow for views from the library to the living room and to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge beyond.  From an artistic perception. it's designed to be the poetic sculpture of the house - to be admired from above, below, and laterally in three directions. It constantly changes based on the viewer's position, changing light, and intoxication.

 The steps are bleached walnut, the walls and railings are curved plaster, and the handrail is ebonized walnut with blackened steel pegs fora floating effect. The design was created in a series of design stages that started with pencil sketches and led to computer models and resulted in carefully dimensioned plans sections and details to build from.  During construction there was a concentrated collaboration with the craftsmen. Mock-ups were created for the tightest curves and the handrail. The rest of the house now pays homage to the stair.

LOCATION: SAN FRANCISCO, CA

COMPLETED: JANUARY 2020

CASS CALDER SMITH TEAM

DESIGN PRINCIPAL: CASS CALDER SMITH

PROJECT ARCHITECT: BJÖRN STEUDTE

INTERIOR DESIGN DIRECTOR: BARBARA TURPIN-VICKROY

DESIGNERS: NATHAN REED, EVELYN MURPHY

GENERAL CONTRACTOR: MOROSO CONSTRUCTION

PHOTOGRAPHY: CESAR RUBIO

SEA CLIFF RESIDENCE - STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN

This residential stair dramatically connects three floors in a new San Francisco home that we were the architects and interior designers for. The entry area of this house was wide but shallow and hence the shape of the stair was designed as a flattened ellipse but not a pure ellipse – hence ellipsoidal. Moreover, at each floor the radii of the railing walls are different to create a subtle spatial dynamic. It’s quite complicated in actuality, but the result is of elegant simplicity and lightness, which was the intention. Sculpted shapes like this were more common during the Baroque era inRome – especially the churches that were designed by the masterful Italian architect Borromini who had a flair for creating unexpected radicality.

Aside from the practical aspects of connecting three floors of domesticity, it’s the vertical and essential counterpoint to the stacked horizontality of the house and is further accentuated with natural light from the large skylight that is also ellipsoidal, which brings in that special California light. The carefully proportioned treads with open risers allow light to reach further down while creating shadow play. They also allow for views from the library to the living room and to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge beyond.  From an artistic perception. it's designed to be the poetic sculpture of the house - to be admired from above, below, and laterally in three directions. It constantly changes based on the viewer's position, changing light, and intoxication.

 The steps are bleached walnut, the walls and railings are curved plaster, and the handrail is ebonized walnut with blackened steel pegs fora floating effect. The design was created in a series of design stages that started with pencil sketches and led to computer models and resulted in carefully dimensioned plans sections and details to build from.  During construction there was a concentrated collaboration with the craftsmen. Mock-ups were created for the tightest curves and the handrail. The rest of the house now pays homage to the stair.

LOCATION: SAN FRANCISCO, CA

COMPLETED: JANUARY 2020

CASS CALDER SMITH TEAM

DESIGN PRINCIPAL: CASS CALDER SMITH

PROJECT ARCHITECT: BJÖRN STEUDTE

INTERIOR DESIGN DIRECTOR: BARBARA TURPIN-VICKROY

DESIGNERS: NATHAN REED, EVELYN MURPHY

GENERAL CONTRACTOR: MOROSO CONSTRUCTION

PHOTOGRAPHY: CESAR RUBIO

SEA CLIFF RESIDENCE - STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN

This residential stair dramatically connects three floors in a new San Francisco home that we were the architects and interior designers for. The entry area of this house was wide but shallow and hence the shape of the stair was designed as a flattened ellipse but not a pure ellipse – hence ellipsoidal. Moreover, at each floor the radii of the railing walls are different to create a subtle spatial dynamic. It’s quite complicated in actuality, but the result is of elegant simplicity and lightness, which was the intention. Sculpted shapes like this were more common during the Baroque era inRome – especially the churches that were designed by the masterful Italian architect Borromini who had a flair for creating unexpected radicality.

Aside from the practical aspects of connecting three floors of domesticity, it’s the vertical and essential counterpoint to the stacked horizontality of the house and is further accentuated with natural light from the large skylight that is also ellipsoidal, which brings in that special California light. The carefully proportioned treads with open risers allow light to reach further down while creating shadow play. They also allow for views from the library to the living room and to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge beyond.  From an artistic perception. it's designed to be the poetic sculpture of the house - to be admired from above, below, and laterally in three directions. It constantly changes based on the viewer's position, changing light, and intoxication.

 The steps are bleached walnut, the walls and railings are curved plaster, and the handrail is ebonized walnut with blackened steel pegs fora floating effect. The design was created in a series of design stages that started with pencil sketches and led to computer models and resulted in carefully dimensioned plans sections and details to build from.  During construction there was a concentrated collaboration with the craftsmen. Mock-ups were created for the tightest curves and the handrail. The rest of the house now pays homage to the stair.

LOCATION: SAN FRANCISCO, CA

COMPLETED: JANUARY 2020

CASS CALDER SMITH TEAM

DESIGN PRINCIPAL: CASS CALDER SMITH

PROJECT ARCHITECT: BJÖRN STEUDTE

INTERIOR DESIGN DIRECTOR: BARBARA TURPIN-VICKROY

DESIGNERS: NATHAN REED, EVELYN MURPHY

GENERAL CONTRACTOR: MOROSO CONSTRUCTION

PHOTOGRAPHY: CESAR RUBIO

SEA CLIFF RESIDENCE - STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN

This residential stair dramatically connects three floors in a new San Francisco home that we were the architects and interior designers for. The entry area of this house was wide but shallow and hence the shape of the stair was designed as a flattened ellipse but not a pure ellipse – hence ellipsoidal. Moreover, at each floor the radii of the railing walls are different to create a subtle spatial dynamic. It’s quite complicated in actuality, but the result is of elegant simplicity and lightness, which was the intention. Sculpted shapes like this were more common during the Baroque era inRome – especially the churches that were designed by the masterful Italian architect Borromini who had a flair for creating unexpected radicality.

Aside from the practical aspects of connecting three floors of domesticity, it’s the vertical and essential counterpoint to the stacked horizontality of the house and is further accentuated with natural light from the large skylight that is also ellipsoidal, which brings in that special California light. The carefully proportioned treads with open risers allow light to reach further down while creating shadow play. They also allow for views from the library to the living room and to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge beyond.  From an artistic perception. it's designed to be the poetic sculpture of the house - to be admired from above, below, and laterally in three directions. It constantly changes based on the viewer's position, changing light, and intoxication.

 The steps are bleached walnut, the walls and railings are curved plaster, and the handrail is ebonized walnut with blackened steel pegs fora floating effect. The design was created in a series of design stages that started with pencil sketches and led to computer models and resulted in carefully dimensioned plans sections and details to build from.  During construction there was a concentrated collaboration with the craftsmen. Mock-ups were created for the tightest curves and the handrail. The rest of the house now pays homage to the stair.

LOCATION: SAN FRANCISCO, CA

COMPLETED: JANUARY 2020

CASS CALDER SMITH TEAM

DESIGN PRINCIPAL: CASS CALDER SMITH

PROJECT ARCHITECT: BJÖRN STEUDTE

INTERIOR DESIGN DIRECTOR: BARBARA TURPIN-VICKROY

DESIGNERS: NATHAN REED, EVELYN MURPHY

GENERAL CONTRACTOR: MOROSO CONSTRUCTION

PHOTOGRAPHY: CESAR RUBIO

SEA CLIFF RESIDENCE - STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN

This residential stair dramatically connects three floors in a new San Francisco home that we were the architects and interior designers for. The entry area of this house was wide but shallow and hence the shape of the stair was designed as a flattened ellipse but not a pure ellipse – hence ellipsoidal. Moreover, at each floor the radii of the railing walls are different to create a subtle spatial dynamic. It’s quite complicated in actuality, but the result is of elegant simplicity and lightness, which was the intention. Sculpted shapes like this were more common during the Baroque era inRome – especially the churches that were designed by the masterful Italian architect Borromini who had a flair for creating unexpected radicality.

Aside from the practical aspects of connecting three floors of domesticity, it’s the vertical and essential counterpoint to the stacked horizontality of the house and is further accentuated with natural light from the large skylight that is also ellipsoidal, which brings in that special California light. The carefully proportioned treads with open risers allow light to reach further down while creating shadow play. They also allow for views from the library to the living room and to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge beyond.  From an artistic perception. it's designed to be the poetic sculpture of the house - to be admired from above, below, and laterally in three directions. It constantly changes based on the viewer's position, changing light, and intoxication.

 The steps are bleached walnut, the walls and railings are curved plaster, and the handrail is ebonized walnut with blackened steel pegs fora floating effect. The design was created in a series of design stages that started with pencil sketches and led to computer models and resulted in carefully dimensioned plans sections and details to build from.  During construction there was a concentrated collaboration with the craftsmen. Mock-ups were created for the tightest curves and the handrail. The rest of the house now pays homage to the stair.

LOCATION: SAN FRANCISCO, CA

COMPLETED: JANUARY 2020

CASS CALDER SMITH TEAM

DESIGN PRINCIPAL: CASS CALDER SMITH

PROJECT ARCHITECT: BJÖRN STEUDTE

INTERIOR DESIGN DIRECTOR: BARBARA TURPIN-VICKROY

DESIGNERS: NATHAN REED, EVELYN MURPHY

GENERAL CONTRACTOR: MOROSO CONSTRUCTION

PHOTOGRAPHY: CESAR RUBIO

SEA CLIFF RESIDENCE - STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN

This residential stair dramatically connects three floors in a new San Francisco home that we were the architects and interior designers for. The entry area of this house was wide but shallow and hence the shape of the stair was designed as a flattened ellipse but not a pure ellipse – hence ellipsoidal. Moreover, at each floor the radii of the railing walls are different to create a subtle spatial dynamic. It’s quite complicated in actuality, but the result is of elegant simplicity and lightness, which was the intention. Sculpted shapes like this were more common during the Baroque era inRome – especially the churches that were designed by the masterful Italian architect Borromini who had a flair for creating unexpected radicality.

Aside from the practical aspects of connecting three floors of domesticity, it’s the vertical and essential counterpoint to the stacked horizontality of the house and is further accentuated with natural light from the large skylight that is also ellipsoidal, which brings in that special California light. The carefully proportioned treads with open risers allow light to reach further down while creating shadow play. They also allow for views from the library to the living room and to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge beyond.  From an artistic perception. it's designed to be the poetic sculpture of the house - to be admired from above, below, and laterally in three directions. It constantly changes based on the viewer's position, changing light, and intoxication.

 The steps are bleached walnut, the walls and railings are curved plaster, and the handrail is ebonized walnut with blackened steel pegs fora floating effect. The design was created in a series of design stages that started with pencil sketches and led to computer models and resulted in carefully dimensioned plans sections and details to build from.  During construction there was a concentrated collaboration with the craftsmen. Mock-ups were created for the tightest curves and the handrail. The rest of the house now pays homage to the stair.

LOCATION: SAN FRANCISCO, CA

COMPLETED: JANUARY 2020

CASS CALDER SMITH TEAM

DESIGN PRINCIPAL: CASS CALDER SMITH

PROJECT ARCHITECT: BJÖRN STEUDTE

INTERIOR DESIGN DIRECTOR: BARBARA TURPIN-VICKROY

DESIGNERS: NATHAN REED, EVELYN MURPHY

GENERAL CONTRACTOR: MOROSO CONSTRUCTION

PHOTOGRAPHY: CESAR RUBIO

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