Merit Award: Dramatic Twist

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A traditional stair made of wide-plank character oak treads with a mahogany handrail and custom balustrade stands out for its elegance and refinement.

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Location: Darien, Conn.

Contractor: Joe Filanowski, J&J Custom Builders, Milford, Conn.

Designer: Robert A. Cardello, Robert A. Cardello Architects, Norwalk, Conn.

Stair fabricator:New England Stair Co., Shelton, Conn.

When architect Robert Cardello designed a new house for his clients, he needed to create a visual focal point in the plan. He had designed a two-story glass enclosure for the stairs and wanted to include a dramatic structure for that space. “As a whole, in houses we design, we often see the stairs as a piece of furniture, which I often use as a design feature in the home,” the architect says. “This house is no exception.”

Cardello designed the stair to “float” within the enclosure. “This was used as a lens to flood the interior with light,” he says.

The treads on this dramatic traditional stair are made of custom wide-plank character oak. The structure features custom mahogany newel posts and a custom decorative balustrade with a cast iron shoe that adds a finishing touch to the design.

“The metal balusters were chosen to reinforce the light and airy feel of the design,” Cardello says. The mahogany handrails were fabricated on site.

—Nina Patel, senior editor, REMODELING.