CPW Apartment

“Ori” meaning folding and “Kami” meaning paper, renders the term that references the traditional Japanese art of paper folding in which the fold creates a structural coherence that manifests form.

The original stair is an elegant example of an idea, materialized, tested, implemented and documented through an intimate collaboration only made possible through technological advancements including 3D modeling, 3D printing, computational geometry, digital manufacturing and finally digital photography.

From inception to completion the owner, the architect, the engineer and the craftsman/fabricator were collaboratively engaged in the development and execution of the object and the objective.

The project began with a simple idea articulated by the team to manifest lightness literally and symbolically. The stair owes its form to its distinctive unidirectional cantilevered tread which tapers as the deflection forces diminish at its outermost limits. The structural logic of folding was mobilized to minimize the amount of material used, to open the tread bed for its glass insert and to revel the stairs expressive “wing” shape.

The stair was first conceptualized and modeled in Autodesk Revit, rendered in Autodesk 3DS Max, printed on MakerBot in the studio, transferred to the engineer in Revit for structural analysis of both the steel and structural glass elements and finally the fully executed digital model was transferred to the fabricator for direct digital fabrication.

On site the intervening structural elements of the floor slab were first removed with supplemental structure added to head off the interrupted components.  A single, and ultimately concealed, stringer was delicately threaded into the existing structure of the pre-war multi-story residential context. A secondary structural system of brackets, clips and channels was installed to anchor the structural glass screen, railings and treads. The sculptural finish plaster and flooring was installed around these anchoring components and then finally the glass, rail and treads were secured into their final positions.

Thus, a very complex assembly was rendered with the utmost simplicity.