Stair of the week is the center of attention in office lobby

Ferreteria O´Higgins / GH+A | Guillermo Hevia
© Nico Saieh via Archdaily

In many buildings today, stairs are relegated to the corners, enclosed in firewalls and often even alarmed. That's why we do the Stair of the week, to highlight stairs that draw you in and make you want to climb, getting a little exercise, talking to people and saving energy. There's a nice one in the headquarters for Ferreteria O´Higgins, a mining equipment company, in Santiago, Chile, designed by GT+A. But if you came for the stair, stay for the building.

According to ArchDaily, " the staircase stands out as the main element of the space, expressing itself as a suspended, light and transparent object." But wait, there's more.

The solid walls are double skinned, and naturally vented and cooled by the venturi effect. Earth tubes are used to naturally condition the air that is brought into the building.

On the sunny side of the street, it has nice shades made out of COR-TEN rusty steel.

Because of its outside material, the building changes color according to the sunlight and the passing of time. The building reacts as a living body, showing different and changing shades of orange, brown and ocher in its skin. In the front the main facade stands out within the building, defining a translucent veil made out of perforated Corten steel sheets, that allows people to look outside controlling solar radiation at the same time. These sheets move slightly and constantly with of the wind, which combined with the effect of the multipurpose water mirror located in their base, give the building a dynamic dimension.

Here you can see the fatal flaw of COR-TEN- it keeps rusting to the point that you can eventually get perforations and you get a lot of runoff and staining. Fortunately here it runs off into the reflecting pool, which itself is part of the environmental strategy, evaporating water to keep the building cool. The holes in the shades have caused some interesting patterns in the rust. Lots more images at ArchDaily

Stair of the week is the center of attention in office lobby
But there is a lot more to this building than just the stair.

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