Most Innovative Decorative Glass Project, Residential

Floating Glass Staircase, Faour Glass Technologies

Photo by Faour Glass Technologies

This Florida residence features a floating glass staircase with glass acting as the baluster and a stringer supporting the glass steps. Located in a high-rise penthouse in South Beach, the project had a budget of $685,000 and an 18-month timeframe. In addition to the floating design, one of the biggest challenges facing contract glazier Faour Glass Technologies was the staircase’s tight inside radius. FGT selected Cristacurva to fabricate the bent laminated glass due to the supplier’s ability to achieve the tight radius and multi-ply requirements. FGT designed the stainless fittings in coordination with Cristacurva, which provided the laminated glass treads, fins and rail.

The 2 7/16-inch glass stair treads comprise: a ½-inch low-iron glass lite, 0.60 SGP interlayer, ½-inch low-iron glass lite, 0.60 SGP interlayer, ¾-inch low-iron glass lite, 0.60 SGP interlayer, and another ½-inch low-iron glass lite. The glass fin and guardrail both consist of: a ½-inch low-iron glass lite, 0.60 SGP interlayer, and a ½-inch low-iron glass lite.

Because the engineering required the staircase to be built and tested to Florida Building Code requirements, FGT brought in Architectural Testing Inc. on the project.

“The staircase is a marvel of fabrication, careful measuring and engineering,” says Glass Magazine Award Judge Mandy Marxen, vice president of marketing for Gardner Glass Products Inc. “As more people become familiar with glass in retail environments—like the Apple Store and its signature glass staircase—the expectation to achieve commercial looks such as these in residential projects will continue to grow.”