Studio Z Architecture

A Redefined Balustrade

Date: 12/20/2016

Project highlights:

  • Before: an incomplete metal-and-glass balustrade was too fussy for the owners’ taste
  • Studio Z designed a clean-lined wood-and-glass balustrade
  • A new sliding glass door at the top of the stairway keeps heat from rising and overheating the second floor.
  • An onyx light fixture at the bottom of the stairway replaces a traditional lamp

The owners of this contemporary condominium in downtown Ann Arbor reached out to Studio Z for two reasons.

First, they did not like the ornate metal and glass balustrade that came with their condo. Not only was it overly-fussy for their taste, it was unfinished and, more importantly, unsafe. The previous owner had placed dowels in closet rod brackets on the landing, and there were sections of the stairway that had no guard rail at all.

Second, they had a problem with warm air rising up the stairwell and overheating the upper level while leaving the main level chilly.

The existing stairway was constructed mainly of cherry, with maple and mahogany inlays. The homeowners were attracted to the condo because of these wood details, so Studio Z designed a glass and wood balustrade that achieved the homeowners’ goal of being contemporary yet warm. A continuous cherry handrail tops glass panels connected to cherry newel posts with simple chrome clips.

At the bottom of the stairway, a traditional lamp was replaced with a lit onyx fixture that provides a warm glow.

At the top of the stairway, Studio Z designed a glass partition with a sliding glass door to provide more thermal comfort on both levels of the condo.

Momentum Construction
Photographer: Emily Rose Imagery
Model: Mustache the Cat


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