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A sculptural staircase in HIMACS

A sculptural staircase in HIMACS for a contract project in between architecture and interior design

HIMACS is back as the protagonist of architecture in Italy, thanks to a project from the  architect Ilaria Mosso who, together with Simone Piva, supervised the construction of the new headquarters of the company, Inox Fondi Srl of Villamarzana, Rovigo.

The company, leader in the production of stainless-steel dished heads, was in fact looking for a metropolitan and contemporary style to set up its new office block on the main façade of the administrative/manufacturing complex. Hence it turned to the designer who decided to opt for HIMACS to create a staircase on three floors giving an imposing and dramatic result.  

‘In the linearity and simplicity of the overall project’ recounts Ilaria Mosso, designer of the magnificent staircase ‘the idea was to create a contrasting element which, with its curves, was able to interrupt yet at the same time combine with the rigidity of the context. Hence the staircase was born’.

The side and underneath of the metal staircase structure are entirely covered in plasterboard, while the internal parts of the risers and treads are in HIMACS. Nothing is standardized, but each single step is one of a kind, made using hand-shaped rough wood templates, which undoubtedly made the project more difficult, but at the same time also truly unique.

The shape of the structure, which like a helix rises from the inner gate of the building, is then highlighted in places by strips of light which underscores its graphic and spectacular character. The desire to obtain a single surface, without any change of material between dark and light, did in fact prompt the architect to experiment with a backlit system for the steps, for which HIMACS is also the perfect material.

In order to accommodate the LED lights, the steps had to be milled having first had an extra piece of material added, to increase the thickness of the step. Finally, thanks to a skilful and innovative solution, the steps were made so as to fasten onto and be released from the structure by means of a magnet system which, by making everything easily removable, also makes it very practical to remove the electrical system in case of a fault.

‘HIMACS was chosen for various reasons' continues architect Mosso, 'for instance because of its transparency and colour uniformity, and also because it is easy to work with, even when its thickness is very reduced – in this case only 9 mm – and finally because of its brightness and its modern appearance’.

In addition to the magnificent staircase, HIMACS also makes a subtle appearance in another room: This New Generation Acrylic Stone has been used to create a structural detail of the meeting room table, a horizontal line which follows the complete length of the 240 cm top, before turning into an extremely slim but sturdy leg. This unique piece, was conceived to link the major architectural piece of the building, with a tiny detail in the meeting room, and thus complete a comprehensive project with an definite personality.

Location Inox Fondi Srl offices, Italy
Architecture & Design Ilaria Mosso
Material used HIMACS Alpine White
Fabrication Simone Piva
Photo Credit ©Francesca Bottazzin
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