Text description provided by the architects. Stair-Case Malasaña is the result of an exploration on how to grow up in altitude using the minimum plan space whilst using the staircase as the generator for complementary activities. The client owned a 46sq meter apartment with a small ladder up to the attic which was unventilated and humid and only used for insulation and storage. The proposal was to enhance this area by opening it to the main room and use it as an extra bedroom for guests.
Creating a new connection between the main area and the lofted top space becomes the central issue of the project as it helps solve different issues on a single stroke. The resulting staircase is at the same time an extensión of the minuscule bathroom, a low TV stand, a high table, an elevated studio for a desk and a small exhibition space. The large steel pieces were welded in the shop and brought in to be assembled on site, thus allowing for a level of precisión more akin to a giant piece of furniture than a stair.
White lackered 3cm steel bars give the ensemble a lightweight feel, while thin pink steel landings and steps seem to float on their way up. The door to the bathroom is partly concealed by a perforated steel plate that separates it from the main living area. All the apartment windows being on the same wall, it was important to reduce solid partitions in order to preserve a good ventilation and an optimal reach of sunlight.
Reclaimed free-standing wooden doors with translucid glass and a wooden sliding door allow for a great flexibility of use and different plan configurations, thus bringing in natural light to the bedroom and kitchen. To counter the small scale of the apartment and avoid a confined feel, all walls and floors are painted white. A large steel planter hung on the outside of the main window extends the interior space beyond the facade and masks the view from the very near neighbors. In the kitchen space, the splashboard is replaced with a mirror so as to be able to see the window when cooking.