Design Challenge: Curating Spaces

Material Highlights Design
Staircase with custom risers to match a set of four paintings in a custom niche
Peter Peirce

When we started this Park Slope Historic District renovation, its owners presented us with an interesting design challenge. They have proudly owned a four-panel work entitled Artillery or Poppy Red (2013), by Pennsylvania-based artist Emil Lukas. However, they did not have an adequate piece to display the large-scale work in their home.

We considered this when designing a new stair opening between the two floors. Brass balusters, carefully placed on site alongside the builders, relate to the artwork. The stair treads are trays of white oak set into metal stringers with carefully beveled corners and edges – a sculptural art piece themselves. These design elements created a unique staircase without distracting from the art. The final product blends art and architecture and enhances the beauty of both the staircase and the artwork.

As a result, the work hangs perfectly between the updated parlor floor and the enlarged entertainment room below. The staircase's details converse interestingly with the artful glass slats that sit between the main home and its detached garage.