Two floors, one small room, pre-existing structures that needed to be avoided, and a deadline. What could possibly have gone wrong?

This room may look large, but looks are deceiving. We needed to achieve a high elevation in a pretty tight space. With these engineering specifications in mind, our team went through many different iterations of this particular staircase. It was originally designed as a Switchback staircase, followed by a simple 90° Turn. While both of these configurations worked and were viable options, neither one was truly able to optimize the limited space in this room. It was decided that this FLIGHT configuration would need to be custom-made in order to best fit this project’s space.

Our team wasn’t willing to simply make this project work—we were committed to creating the best possible product for this customer. The custom floating stairs design you see was drawn up and manufactured to perfectly fit into this optometrist’s office. Three steel stringers were attached to one another to make the full 180° turn possible while still maintaining the open space underneath the stairs—making the room feel and look even larger than it is. Steel support columns were created to help keep all of the FLIGHT’s steel and wood in the air. It is a breathtaking modern stair with an incredible amount of elevation achieved. But as we hinted at, not everything went smoothly . . .

We had finished designing and manufacturing the three stringer custom configuration. Right before the floating stairs were shipped out, one of our engineers made a trip out to the jobsite, to help the customer get a few final measurements. While he was there, he discovered a very important detail that had never been conveyed to our team: a glass door and wall right where the middle of these three stringers was supposed to be.

Our engineer was immediately on the phone with our manufacturing department. But we took this in stride. We unboxed the crates, assembled a team, and hit the drawing board. With some masterful reworking, the middle stringer was reconfigured, re-designed, and shortened to become what you see in the pictures above. Thanks to the resourcefulness of our team, what could have been a major problem turned out to be a minor hiccup.

With this project, we not only proved we are able to create a custom stair to fit any project’s specific needs, but also that we are adaptable. We do everything possible to try and avoid encountering major setbacks, but we also recognize that life happens. Setbacks are not unconquerable. Being proud of the work we do will always be our first priority, regardless of changing timelines.

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