Case Study Houses Details Dancewear

The Hamburg architect Gerd Streng offers individual solutions for making the most of the space in existing houses. In view of soaring rent prices in large cosmopolitan cities, he searches for spatial resources within the four walls of people's homes and creates additional room by means of "slight but purposeful reorganisation of the basic structure". In close consultation with the occupants, he devises surprising staircase solutions that are not only functionally inventive but also make a strong design statement with considered use of lighting and colour. So far six so-called Stair Case Study Houses have come about. The SCSH 01 and SCSH 02 projects are described as follows.


Stair Case Study House 01

Situation:
A three-room flat on the first floor of a picturesque backyard building in Hamburg's Eimsbüttel district had become too small. Accordingly the flat below was purchased for a duplex solution.

Measure:
Both storeys have now been connected with a newly-inserted sculpture-like staircase, which leads down to a U-shaped built-in banquette on the ground floor. The bedrooms and children's rooms and the main bathroom are located on the private upper floor (about 80 m²). The ground floor, having been completely gutted and refashioned, is now a living room complete with a new kitchen and dining area. The built-in furniture comprises a sideboard, storage area and couch in one, and all other fitted units, including the half-landings, are equipped with drawer elements.

The stair treads are painted white and lead down to the white furniture of the living room, while the yellow risers merge in their upward movement with the monochrome yellow staircase walls. An opening provided a laminated glass-reinforced polyester grating (GRP) illuminates the interior of the staircase during the day and has the character of a shining window at night.

Project data

User: private (family of 5)
Architect: Gerd Streng
Structural planning: assmann beraten und planen

Location: 20253 Hamburg, Germany
Site: 911 m²
Usable space: ground floor 37.0 m², first floor 78.5 m², total 115.5 m²
Cost: Euro 45,000 without client's performance


Stair Case Study House 02

Situation:
A classical detached house built in 1939 required energy-efficiency rehabilitation and adaptation to the spatial requirements of a family of four. The changes were limited to a few selective interventions marked as such in orange. 

Measure:
A new staircase has been installed to provide access to the previously unused high-pitched attic, and was created by taking space from one of the two children's rooms. Originally reached by a ladder, the attic now accommodates a complete bedroom incorporating high-quality fitted furniture. The house's net floor space has thus been increased from about 98 m² to approx. 115 m².

Spatial constraints and the existing tie beams of the roof and ceiling structure required a new interpretation of the classical type of spiral staircase. The imaginary newel has a diagonal axis, and the occupants move up and down around it in a passage-like space. The sculpture-like wooden staircase, which has first and last treads of identical width, manages with just a quarter of the floor space normally required by a traditional spiral staircase. Painted in orange, it corresponds to the orange flooring of the attic.

The built-in furniture up in the attic fits exactly into one of the gables, where a small window has gained a deep tapered reveal with a shiny high-gloss lacquered finish. Folding sliding doors and drawer-in-drawer elements provide optimum storage space.

Project data

User: private (family of four)   
Architect: Gerd Streng  
Structural consulting: Mark Lyczynski, Lüneburg
Lighting consulting: Marc Nelson Lichtdesign

Location: 22525 Hamburg, Germany
Site: 662 m²
Usable space: ground floor 59.5 m², upper floor 37.9 m², attic 15 m², total 112.4 m²
Gross floor area: 156 m²
Costrefurbishment: Euro 140,000 without client's performance

 

More projects on this topic in DETAIL 4/2014 "Stairs, Ramps, Lifts"

The Hamburg architect Gerd Streng offers individual solutions for making the most of the space in existing houses. In view of soaring rent prices in large cosmopolitan cities, he searches for spatial resources within the four walls of people's homes and creates additional room by means of "slight but purposeful reorganisation of the basic structure". In close consultation with the occupants, he devises surprising staircase solutions that are not only functionally inventive but also make a strong design statement with considered use of lighting and colour. So far six so-called Stair Case Study Houses have come about. The SCSH 05 and SCSH 06 projects are described as follows.


Stair Case Study House 05

Situation:
The top two storeys of an upper-middle-class house in the Art Nouveau style needed to be joined together into a generously-sized maisonette flat.

Measure:
At first glance the new stairs make the impression of an ordinary double-flight half-turn staircase. However, a closer look shows that the lower part broadens into two staggered sections, thus opening up the oak staircase to the entrance to the flat.

A guest WC with a triangular floorplan is located beneath the stairs. All surfaces, excepting the fittings, are in white; above the door, a cove light with a triangular, orange-painted shape accentuates the room. A window to the stairwell is in frosted glass and reflective foil. The spandrel space directly reflects the stair geometry, and together with the monochromatic colouration and the lighting has a contemplative atmosphere that fits well with the function of the room.

Project data

User: private (family of five)    
Architect stairs: Gerd Streng

Location: 20148 Hamburg-Rotherbaum, Germany
Cost stairs: Euro 40,000

 

Stair Case Study House 06

Situation:
A classical detached house from 1937 was to undergo an energy efficiency upgrade as well as adaptation to the spatial requirements of a family of four.

Measure:
In a purposeful intervention, it was possible to integrate a new staircase into the corridor of the upper floor and thus provide access to the previously unused pitched attic. The attic, which originally could only be reached by a ladder, now accommodates a light-flooded room that increases the house's net floor space from about 100 m² to approx. 116 m².

The new, single-flight staircase has been precisely incorporated into the ceiling opening for the former ladder. Space constraints determined the new staircase's dimensioning in that enough clear passage width had to be left for reaching the bathroom and bedrooms in the 1.30 m-wide corridor.

The stringer inclined at a 5° angle is the key to meeting all requirements. On the one hand the angle ensures a maximum clear passage width in the corridor; on the other, it resolves the difference in width between the starting step and the ceiling opening. The bend at the ninth step marks the start of the turn towards the opening into the attic. A handrail solution at the side offers six openings arranged vertically to be of the right height for all ages between small children and adults.

On the inner side the steps rest on a stringer board screwed to the wall, whereby all parts are executed in varnished birch multiplex (30 mm). Two sandwich panels in opaque glass-fibre reinforced polyester (GRP) close the space at the top and are lit from below. One of these panels has the form of a pneumatic spring-assisted flap, while the other, smaller one is fixed into place. Both fit into an orange-painted steel frame incorporating L-profiles, and both can be walked over.

Four rooflights provide the attic with a base level of light, and an additional large rooflight above the staircase opening lets in daylight, thus enabling views up into the attic from almost three storeys below.

With the exception of the pointed gable walls, all the attic surfaces are clad in moisture-resistant oriented strand board, including the reveals of the five roof windows, the skirting boards and the apex trim. In combination with the GRP panels, the quality installation and workmanship of the seemingly "cheap" material lends the attic room a unique atmosphere.

Project data

User: private (family of four)
Architect: Gerd Streng

Location: 22525 Hamburg-Langenfelde, Germany
Cost:
total Euro 65,000
stairs Euro 5,500

 

More projects on this topic in DETAIL 4/2014 "Stairs, Ramps, Lifts"

 

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