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žžƵ in the Media: The Art of Upcycling

March 07, 2023
Architecture Commercial

žžƵ’s Benjamin Kroll, AIA speaks with Architizer about the process of transforming reclaimed wood into a stunning staircase.

Building on an existing framework and upcycled wood, the staircase in žžƵ’s Omaha office uses a variety of materials to create a rhythmic, minimalist pace. The stairs, which received an Architizer A+ Award in 2022, fold, frame and evolve as users ascend and descend, transforming alongside the user’s path. The stair’s wooden slats were crafted from reclaimed oak that was once the building’s door jams, window frames and millwork, while the remaining concrete recalls the foundation of the original staircase and offers a simple contrast; the raw concrete is complimented with the precise wood elements thus creating a diversity in material language. The result is a literal and figurative expression of elevated design that grounds the space and offers a unique place for spontaneous collaboration.

The stair’s wood slats were crafted from reclaimed red oak that was milled down, sanded and repurposed, and selected to create a sense of biophilia to offer users a moment of inspired connection to time and place.

The process of design was complex and required intense collaboration. It’s a testament to žžƵ’s practice of following a path of discovery and the firm’s passion for solving problems, challenging existing norms and seeking out new and better ways of doing things.

Written by Erin Van Zee, Communications Director