Glass Stair

Interior Architecture Award Submission

A new glass stair replaces an existing basic wood stair in a 39th and 40th floor penthouse residence. The glass is used as the primary structural material and only stainless steel is used for connection clips. The new glass stair allows light to pour deep into the home and creates a calming void in the space. The stair is so transparent, thanks to low iron glass, that it literally appears invisible and only a figure ascending or descending reaffirms the steps. The city officials required public loads to be withstood on this residential stair and vigorous testing to be done on the glass mockup before a permit would be issued. The elegance of the thin glass and the few stainless buttons defy the fact that each tread can take up to 6,000 pounds before only the bottom third layer shatters. An open wine room is positioned next to the stair offering a unique view of the stair. The stair was studied as an object of art and one to be inserted into an existing space, it looks a little foreign, purposely an after-thought, better than the first.

Thomas Roszak Architecture, LLC
Jeffrey Cantalupo
  • Sowlat Structural Engineers
General contractor
SteelGrass, LLC
Chicago, Illinois