Orange Staircase

The staircase zigzags back and forth across the atrium of the Anne-Marie Edward Science Building. Olivier Blouin.

Designed by Canadian firm Saucier + Perrotte Architectes as part of their project for the John Abbott College, this angular staircase winds its aesthetic magic back and forth across the atrium of the campus’ state-of-the-art Anne-Marie Edward Science Building.

Equating the staircase to the existing gingko tree that the building folds around, the architects describe it as an "architectonic tree" that weaves vibrant hues through this contemporary space. "The [external] landscape flows into the foyer, becoming an interior topography, which transforms at the fulcrum of the building into a light-filled, vertical circulation space connecting the sciences," they say.

Housed in a diamond-shaped space at the rear of the building, the painted steel staircase connects all six floors and encourages circulation between the departments. Its orange tone is echoed in the ground-floor seating areas – both of which provide the only colour in the otherwise monochrome atrium – as well as the weathered steel facade at the northern end of the building. Other facades are glazed with varying transparency, revealing the staircase to the rest of the campus.

Photos Olivier Blouin and Marc Cramer

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