of stairs

“Of course, thanks to the house, a great many of our memories are housed, and if the house is a bit elaborate, if it has a cellar and a garret, nooks and corridors, our memories have refuges that are all the more clearly delineated.”

Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space

stairs in houses I have designed

“Verticality is ensured by the polarity of cellar and attic, the marks of which are so deep that, in a way, they open up two very different perspectives for a phenomenology of the imagination.  Indeed it is possible, almost without commentary, to oppose the rationality of the roof to the irrationality of the cellar.”

Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space

stairs in houses I have designed

Stairs designed by architects are often the most dramatically beautiful object in a project.  My interest when designing a stair however is not primarily aesthetic or even functional.  It is a simple thing to go up or down.  My interest lies in the meaning of the passage from above to below, from the earth to the sky, from public to private.  Some stairs are spaces in their own right, others are slight shifts in position within a larger room.  I hope they are all in service of a larger idea and become integral to the memory of the house, not just a plot device in the novel that gets you from here to there, but a chapter all its own.

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