In Threes: Up, up and away

Nothing sets a residence apart quite like a one-of-a-kind staircase, as evident by three examples from three recent Toronto projects.

For the downtown condo of Dr. Kenneth Montague – part dentist, part art curator – architect David Anand Peterson created a stair designed to direct movement upward and reveal a library space beyond. “The stringer is painted steel, while the open treads are made of walnut,” says Peterson. “Dark-stained walnut is used on the walking surface and bleached walnut on the underside. The lighter-toned-wood underside becomes increasingly visible as your eye travels up the stair: a subtle effect that gives less visual weight. The bleached walnut appears again in the cabinetry at the top of the stair.”

In a private penthouse on the Esplanade, Munge Leung fashioned a unique sculptural stair that allows for unobstructed panoramic views of Lake Ontario and the surrounding downtown areas. Say the architects, “The staircase gently curves around a dividing wall, which provides separation and privacy for the upper floor. With spectacular south-facing windows, the open-tread design of the staircase allows for natural light to filter through. It also functions as a divider between the main-floor living and the kitchen/dining area.” 

For a house in the South Hill neighbourhood, AKB (Atelier Kastelic Buffey) created a handsome stair running from the basement to the second floor, with a large skylight above to wash it in natural light. “We used solid rift-cut oak treads and risers to match the flooring of the new home,” says principal Robert Kastelic. “The vertical rift-cut guard panels were constructed to give a seamless monolithic appearance. The landing is pulled off the walls to give the impression that it is suspended in space by using a deep reveal against the walls.”  cI