Case Study #72662: Continuous Bronze Curved Stair
Design: Gensler NY
Contractor: Gannon Vitolo Contracting
Location: New York, NY
25,000 pounds of bronze and steel has never looked so light! The success of this feature stair comes from honoring the design inspiration that replaced traditional stringer structures with a low-profile, structural “ribbon” supporting this two-story tall elliptical staircase.
Fully welded 1” thick steel plates with a concealed rib structure are sheathed on all surfaces in hand-patinated bronze to create an uninterrupted form that spans nearly 30’ high. The form of the stair is accentuated by an intentional tightening of the spacing of each of the stair’s bronze pickets that create a skin that defines the form and the path of the stair based on the approach of the viewer.
The slim geometry of the stair structure at 4” thick is complimented by the cantilevered silver travertine treads, each with its own geometric form and inlayed with bronze details. The relationship between the structure, the treads, and the rails helps to create an element that is equal parts sculptural and functional and that serves to set the tone for this unconventional client.
The form envisioned through the design process required an integral collaboration between the fabrication team and the structural engineer to deliver a 4” thick structural profile for this monumental feature stair.
The process of delivering a seamless installation required the development of a special process to apply the bronze coating on site, before being polished and hand-patinated.