Structural Origami / by Nima Yadollahpour

When a Back Bay client hired ONY to design a stair to lead from their fourth floor condominium to a new roof deck, they thought the only way to do this was to install a generic spiral staircase.  The stair would need to rise from a space off the main hallway up to an existing rectangular skylight.  Both the footprint on the floor, and the size of the skylight were very tight and limited the dimensions of the stair.  The other challenge was that it was located centrally making it the focal point of the overall space.
After several schemes, ONY began working with the idea of Origami, as an inspiration for a structure that would need to fold and twist tightly to climb up to the skylight as well as give an impression of lightness and fragility.  The continuous set of steps are flanked by tapering thin walls which show folds and gaps like folded paper.  An inverted modified pyramid folds down to support the back end of the stair.  The twisting shape serves as access to the roof but has also become a sculptural centerpiece for the apartment.

  ONY basswood model of stair

ONY basswood model of stair