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12 hours ago, mollusk said:

OKfine... I get it, I'm less than hip.  But what IS it with the "social stair" fad? :ph34r:




If you've toured any medium/big startup HQ in Austin, Boston, SF, or Seattle this basically what you're greeted with upon entering the door. That is Square, btw. I think its actually a cool, ingenious use of the space. 

Edited by X.R.
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On 9/26/2019 at 10:25 PM, mollusk said:

OKfine... I get it, I'm less than hip.  But what IS it with the "social stair" fad? :ph34r:


Its been around for a little while. I know it really started to take off as a concept in educational architecture like 5-6 years ago? Its definitely overused and has begun to be repetitive, but hey that's what happens when an idea gets into the mainstream. Its a great idea that has just gotten more diluted as it gets over implemented. I'll answer your second question below the this other quote.


On 9/27/2019 at 6:36 PM, Naviguessor said:

Maybe a good and useful one (lately), but a design cliché never the less. As is the “live plant wall”. As ubiquitous as “ROWDY”.  


Its absolutely a cliche, but one that does have staying power. The "social stair" not only has the perfect combination of what architects want stairs to be but also what current cultural trends want spaces to be.

If you haven't noticed, architects are very fascinated by stairs, but not really the stairs themselves, but the stairs ability to change space by changing ones elevation in relation to other things. A change in elevation is an intriguing concept for all architects not just for aesthetic arrangement, but for arrangement of people in space, and how that influences communication for people in space with one another and the building itself. A lot of architects really like this idea of the stair as being a place to congregate and communicate. I mean we all have to take a stair at one point or another. A stair can be a way to lead a person from one space to another. Its the perfect confluence of interactions between people and program. So that is the architecture side.


Culturally the trend is to essentially turn nearly every public or semi-public space into an interaction point or interaction opportunity, a time or moment for social interaction. The current trends are all about diverging or blending interactions. Its all about collaboration, diversity, multiplicity, and plurality. That's the cultural side of things.


Put the two together and you get the "social stair". There is more to it than these things on both ends, but its at least a primer.

Edited by Luminare
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It's also worth noting that "stairs as a social space" is not really a new concept. Think grand staircases in opera houses or the steps to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. They are places, not just to interact with other people, but to be seen interacting with other people. 

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  • 4 months later...

I noticed a few years ago that the Heritage Plaza lighting went back to the old looking beige Christmas lights on the shoulders of the building.  I always thought the building could stand to do more on the top of the building than just light the shoulders, but that's a different topic. But Whatever happened to the new "white" neon lights they had installed back in 2012 as shown in the picture below?


Photo courtesy of Triton:



Edited by scarface
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  • 7 months later...

I used to work for Brookfield.  Almost all design was done out of NY and they were notorious for shoehorning the "Brookfield look" into any building.  It created so many inconsistent designs.  That being said, other than the white stripe, I don’t think this looks too bad and is generally more welcoming. 

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  • 2 months later...

No stranger to adversity, a completely refreshed version of the 53-story building is being reintroduced to the Houston market in 2021 as the city revives from a coronavirus beat-down and last year’s historic oil price collapse. Office vacancy remains high – city’s the overall vacancy rate hit 24.4 percent in the second quarter, reports NAI Partners.

Led by Houston-based Kirksey Architecture, Heritage Plaza’s redesign enhanced the volume and geometry of the interior space and focused on creating a clean and modern design.  Lighter finishes replaced the dark and heavy. using a brighter material palette.


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