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Making Case

Showcase row: 
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Student name: 
Robert Hintz
Master 3
Jane Murphy
ARCH 8420: Advanced Architectural Design IV
Spring 2016


Typically, the stair navigates the vertical space between ­floors within a building. The stair becomes a repetitive experience moving continuously from one level to the next within a pre-determined fl­oor to ­floor height. In this case, the experience of the stair is determined by the architectural environment that uses the ground as a datum of reference. Our project MAKING CASE poses the question, “what if that datum changed and the stair dictated the experience?” Here we created a nature trail where the stair navigates four separate environments. Each environment has its own inherent datum and challenges that the stair has to navigate.


The Cli­ff challenges the stair to deal with geological conditions as well as the transition from the horizontal plane of the cliff top to the vertical plane of the cliff face.


The Forest presents a three-dimensional spatial datum removed from the ground where the stair can move freely both vertically and horizontally and dictates the experience through the canopy.


The Water condition invites the stair to address a finite range above and below the surface plane of the water.


The Cave challenges the stair to navigate the vertical and ambiguous spaces hollowed out within the earth.



Naturally the conditions that our stairs address have their own characteristics and challenges. These begin to be investigated within our project.

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