This staircase was designed in 2 minutes in the middle of the ezbet belal salvaged yard in cairo. I had spent hours drawing other ideas before our visit, but none worked for my engaged to be married clients.
Like a lot of couples, they had different design sensibilities and, hence, different requirements for their home. The husband wanted something modern and funky that used glass. The wife wanted a contemporary take of a traditional wooden staircase. After first, after numerous design attempts I was unable to create a staircase they’d both love, so, I decided we needed to go to ezbet belal so that we can be inspired and brainstorm to find the perfect design.
When we saw this mashrabia component something magical happened: all three of us loved it and something finally clicked. I can use both wood and glass to create something modern and contemporary and funky and traditional at the same time.
The traditional and funky came from the beautiful intricate designs of the mashrabia. By removing the frame, we had numerous details to play with. By placing the pieces haphazardly the staircase had a more salvaged and interesting look. Furthermore, the pieces were all lightly sandblasted to remove the old paint to maintain its weathered look.
The modern sense came from the simple lines of the balusters and hand rail. Using the same wood as the mashrabia, I created balusters composed of 2 supports holding 3-4 mashrabia pieces each. The glass was incorporated to make the staircase less wood heavy and the break between the balusters allowed the mashrabia pieces to stand out. Moreover, the glass balanced the modern aspects of the handrail and balusters. In contrast to the mashrabia pieces, the handrail and balusters have a lite gloss finished and are sanded smooth.