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Micrographia Screen

Schwartz and Architecture

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Project Name

Micrographia Screen

Project Status


Year Completed



2,180 sq. feet

Construction Cost




Room or Space

Architectural Detail



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Project Description

Builder's Choice and Custom Home Awards Finalist

Even within the tightest budgets, one well-placed architectural object - here, doing triple duty as code requirement, welcome wagon and craft installation, can transform the experience of the space. This digitally scripted and fabricated stair guardrail derives inspiration from a number of sources: our client's love of the complex patterns explored in her profession as a scientific illustrator, our interest in the continuous surfaces of the work of Erwin Hauer in the 1950's, and our desire for the design to welcome and draw the visitor up and through the cramped and dark entryway of the existing mid-century home. The screen's apertures are keyed to the eye level of the occupant, opening up views as one ascends and descends. The laminated, translucent material animates the screen as it catches the changing light in the space. Given the project's limited budget, this detail became the linchpin of the design, performing aesthetically and spatially beyond the practicalities of the often constraining code requirements for the stair.
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