Fontanot for BAU 2017 has presented “The Impossible Staircase” created by the students participating in the prestigious “Master in Interior Design” program offered at Milan’s IED. Coming from different countries around the world, students were coordinated and inspired by the experience of Architect and IED instructor Marco Vantusso.
Starting with a precise briefing, the young students took part in this educational project which, in the final judging stage, included the involvement of Laura Fontanot, Vice-president at the company, and Enzo Fontanot, the company’s founder, who first "industrialized" staircase production. Many ideas emerged from the contest, strongly supported by Laura Fontanot, to give a breath of freshness and creativity to a product, the staircase, which is "structural" by nature, and requires special attention during the design phase.
The winning model of the Master, "The impossible Staircase", is characterized by a spiral structure featuring a classic central tube with a sequence of transparent Plexiglas treads spaced between them. But the unique quality of the product is on the outside of the staircase, where a series of thin vertical elements in wood with metal strips create a cylindrical wrapper that "embraces" the entire staircase. The lines from above reach the top step and then link up with the central element: the elements of the wrapper have a structural, as well as an aesthetic function, acting as a support for the external profile of the tread.
The tread created in a transparent material allows the staircase to appear almost invisible so that only the wrapper emerges, within the interior of which the user is immersed. With a fluidity and a sense of lightness, the structure, in its entirety, is perceived as suspended and floating. A staircase designed with the goal of creating a striking effect both in terms of the structure and in use of materials: this is what has allowed the Italian company to be part of the "INNOVATION" area, a space that the BAU has dedicated to companies who know how to produce innovation, enhancing design values and the uniqueness of the materials.