Student(s): Simon Beskitt
Instructor(s): Curtis Roth
Course: ARCH 6420
Term: Spring 2017

This project is a multi-use building for a site on High Street in Columbus, OH. The building serves a unique set of occupants: an extroverted family of four at 1:1 scale, a residence and office of a lawyer existing at a 1:2 scale, and an apartment complex for an introverted population existing at the 1:4 scale. Playing off of the scalar differences of the occupants, the design of the building uses the motif of the staircase, an architectural feature that easily lends scalar legibility to a project, to subvert expectations. The 1:1 family residence, located on the first three floors, uses miniscule stairs as an architectural detail to frame apertures and influence poche. The lawyer’s spaces, located above the family residence, use the stair at the scale of the occupant to create volumes and circulation. The apartment units are housed in a grossly oversized stair atop the structure, and the recognizable yet very large elements of the stair – the newel post, the balusters, the carpet, the molding, etc. – begin to function as architectural elements such as exhaust stacks, antennae, curtain walls, and downspouts.

 

The site for the building addresses both the grid of the city streets and the grid of the adjacent buildings by featuring a sunken plaza space. As the footprint of the building and the perimeter of the plaza are concentric squares, the rotation of the plaza to match the edge of the street produces discreet zones below the sidewalk level for each of the sizes of occupant, and the size of the stair for each zone indicates the entrance for each scale of individual.