Literal Stair Chair

Marlene Hübner and Alberta Sinani

StairKit, a modular toolkit, aims to trigger alternative ways of using staircases. They serve not only as shared extension of hallways, their specific architecture and materiality, makes them the ideal place to cool down during hot summer days. With the toolkit, people can rest on stairs through a foldable seat, which can be positioned as they wish.

The project focuses on staircases and their everyday usages. Traditional Viennese staircases, built before the 1950s, usually take up enormous space resources and are rich of delicate and prestigious details. Back then, when water sinks or shared toilets in the hallways were still needed, the usage of the space was more diverse and social. Nowadays, mostly used as short-term transit zones, the high potential of those spaces is often lost.

The aim of StairKit is to change common perspectives of staircases and trigger alternative activities, especially during heat waves in the city. To convert staircases into “cool down” spaces, we designed a toolkit, which facilitates the usage of these spaces. The TranSeat, a foldable seat, which can be installed on different types of stairs, invites users to take a rest at any time. We used old books from open book shelves and transformed the inner life of the books into a seat cushion, which had been sued into the book spine. Each TranSeat has its individual cover, which functions as a storage for the seat but also as a small table.

Alberta Sinani


June 2019
Marlene Hübner and Alberta Sinani