Launch Slideshow

The Claremont House stair makes its presence known even to sidewalk passersby.

Claremont House

Claremont House

  • The Claremont House stair makes its presence known even to sidewalk passersby.

    http://www.residentialarchitect.com/Images/tmp885%2Etmp_tcm48-398738.jpg

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    The Claremont House stair makes its presence known even to sidewalk passersby.

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    Christopher Barrett/Hedrich Blessing

    The Claremont House stair makes its presence known even to sidewalk passersby.

  • Open risers admit natural light from windows at the front and rear and a long skylight above.

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    Open risers admit natural light from windows at the front and rear and a long skylight above.

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    Christopher Barrett/Hedrich Blessing

    Open risers admit natural light from windows at the front and rear and a long skylight above.

  • The stairway occupies a slice of the building that extends from front to rear through all three stories.

    http://www.residentialarchitect.com/Images/tmp886%2Etmp_tcm48-398747.jpg

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    The stairway occupies a slice of the building that extends from front to rear through all three stories.

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    Christopher Barrett/Hedrich Blessing

    The stairway occupies a slice of the building that extends from front to rear through all three stories.

  • A landing between the ground level and the first floor doubles as the house's main entry hall.

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    A landing between the ground level and the first floor doubles as the house's main entry hall.

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    Christopher Barrett/Hedrich Blessing

    A landing between the ground level and the first floor doubles as the house's main entry hall.

  • The steel stringers are set flush with the white oak paneling on one side and the plaster surface on the other.

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    The steel stringers are set flush with the white oak paneling on one side and the plaster surface on the other.

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    Christopher Barrett/Hedrich Blessing

    The steel stringers are set flush with the white oak paneling on one side and the plaster surface on the other.

  • The entry door from the stairway entry hall.

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    The entry door from the stairway entry hall.

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    Christopher Barrett/Hedrich Blessing

    The entry door from the stairway entry hall.

  • The project's floor plans.

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    The project's floor plans.

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    Courtesy Brininstool + Lynch

    The project's floor plans.

  • A diagram illustrating ventilation through the stairway.

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    A diagram illustrating ventilation through the stairway.

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    Courtesy Brininstool + Lynch

    A diagram illustrating ventilation through the stairway.

brininstool + lynch, chicago

A well-designed stair is seldom merely a means of moving from one floor to another. But even by that standard, this one is a notable overachiever. Occupying a space that extends from the front of a deep, narrow townhouse-form residence to the rear, it conveys not only people, but also light, air, and even structural stresses in the building frame.

“It’s the spine through the entire house,” observed one of our judges, “and you peel off at various landings and other events.” A landing midway between the main and lower levels comprises a compact entry hall. Open risers filter light from windows at the front and rear of the house and facilitate natural ventilation. By bridging the three-story opening, the stair’s welded steel frame helps stabilize the building’s long side wall. “Cleanly done,” declared another judge, who called the stair “the most important organizing element of the house.”

(See more on this project, which also won a Merit award in the Custom / More Than 3,000 Square Feet category.)


Project Details
principal in charge / project architect:
Brad Lynch, Brininstool + Lynch, http://www.brininstool-lynch.com
general contractor: Jake Goldberg, Goldberg General Contracting, Chicago, http://www.ggcinc.net
project size: 4,250 square feet; site size: 0.09 acre
construction cost: $389 per square foot
photography: Christopher Barrett/Hedrich Blessing

Product Specs
bathroom fittings: KWC America www.kwcamerica.com, Vola A/S www.vola.dk; bathroom fixtures: Kohler Co. www.kohler.com, TOTO USA www.totousa.com; cooktop, dishwasher, oven/range: Gaggenau www.gaggenau.com/US_en/Home.do; countertops, kitchen cabinets: Arclinea Chicago www.arclineachicago.com; doors, windows: Hope's Windows www.hopeswindows.com; exterior siding: RHEINZINK America us.rheinzink.de; flooring (carpet): Shaw Industries www.shawfloors.com; flooring (ceramic tile/stone/concrete): Ann Sacks Tile & Stone www.annsacks.com/home.html, Stone Source www.stonetechonline.com/main.htm; flooring (wood): The Bahr Co. www.thebahrco.com; garage doors: Overhead Door Corp. www.overheaddoor.com; garbage disposer: In-Sink-Erator www.insinkerator.com/isejsp/index.jsp; hardware: Accurate Lock and Hardware www.accuratelockandhardware.com/main.asp, d line North America www.dline.com, Forms+Surfaces www.forms-surfaces.com, RIXSON Specialty Door Controls www.rixson.com, Schlage Lock Co. www.schlage.com; insulation: CertainTeed Corp. www.certainteed.com, Johns Manville www.jm.com; kitchen fittings: KWC America www.kwcamerica.com; kitchen fixtures: Foster Custom Kitchens www.fostercustomkitchens.com; lighting fixtures: BEGA/US www.bega-us.com, B-K Lighting www.bklighting.com/index1.html, Gammalux Systems www.gammalux.com, Lucifer Lighting Co. www.luciferlighting.com, Nulite Lighting www.nulite-lighting.com; paints/stains/wall finishes: Benjamin Moore & Co. www.benjaminmoore.com; radiant floor heating system: Uponor (WIRSBO) www.wirsbo.com; refrigerator: Sub-Zero www.subzero.com; roofing: CertainTeed Corp. www.certainteed.com; skylights/roof windows: Panelite www.e-panelite.com

View the next 2010 rada winner.