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Stairwell gives them play area and storage.

Stairwell gives them play area and storage

What does a staircase do besides getting people from one floor to another and taking up a lot of space?

Seattle architect Mark Millett added this striking new stairwell off the side of a 1930s bungalow to give children a bright, elevated play area and at the same time provide their parents with garden storage and a sunny roof deck with a view. The addition also opened up valuable room in the center of the house, where the original stairs were removed.

No two of the stairwell's walls are parallel; instead, the space they enclose is a trapezium measuring 14 feet on the living room or inside edge, 13 feet on the outside edge, and 3 and 7 feet on the ends.

Raising the stairwell's floor 15 inches allowed comfortable headroom in the garden storage area below and put playing children closer to adult eye level. When the children outgrow the space, the owners will build a corner couch into the area to convert it into a reading nook.

The open staircase, which leads to expanded second-story bedrooms, lets light stream into the addition and adjoining rooms. Reached from the master bedroom, an outside landing has stairs leading up to a deck that stretches over the roof. All stair treads are fir 2-by-12s covered with vinyl flooring.

Millett sheathed the new exterior in a combination of marine-grade aluminum sheeting and painted marine-grade plywood. Rails inside and out were customfabricated from 3/8- by 1-inch steel bar, then painted. The sliding aluminum windows are double-glazed.

Photo: Contemporary add-on, stairwell brings light and increased floor space indoors; it includes outdoor access, garden-level tool storage
COPYRIGHT 1987 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1987 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Oct 1, 1987
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