PROJECTiONE was commissioned to complete two projects for the Evansville Museum of Arts History and Science as part of an expansion project that included a new entrance pavilion. The cladding of the grand staircase was considered an opportunity to add visual interest to an important surface as visitors enter the new facility.
As we had also received the commission for the immersive theater cladding, we intended for the stair to be much more subtle in order to leave the dome as the centerpiece of the space. The panels are made out of 1.25” clear acrylic, CNC milled and hand polished. Through specific spacing of the machine toolpaths we were able to achieve a highly finished part while still distorting the light and allowing for the translucency we had intended. The pattern system is inspired by natural floral systems and changes throughout the piece as one continuous element. The depth and amount of variation increase as the panels get further from the ground floor. While adding to the visual complexity, this also ensures that the panels closest to user engagement will have less depth for safety and ease of maintenance. We worked directly with the staircase metal and glass manufacturer to design and fabricate in house a fastening system that would attach to their steel verticals without breaking the continuity of the overall piece. The cladding provides the space with a subtle texture that is amplified throughout the day as the sunlight interacts with the surfaces.