The best way to work with a site is to understand it. To appreciate its presence. To understand its utility and impact in our everyday lives. To discover the possibilities it gives to the pedestrians. Right at the Migros entrance, this site gives people two different choices; either to take the stairs and go at their own pace, or to take the escalator and accept its regular speed.
As usual, one is always confused when confronted to multiple choices. We paid attention to the circulation in this area and found it to be the most crowded out of the 3 others. Therefor, the ideal spot to expose our element.
At first, the stairs appeared to be the ideal platform for a Bed-Window construction. Creativity boosted our motivation but we were slowly drowning in our endless ideas.
Decisions, decisions, decisions...
After heated discussions and intense brain-storming, we finally settle on the descending escalator whose restlessness reminded us of the pedestrian movement in this area.
Window made the cut but Door took over Bed!
As usual, multiple ideas invaded our thoughts. The choice of installing repetitive frames throughout the descending escalator appealed to be an interesting creation.
Fragment of our element presenting the last frame at the end of the escalator.
A short time laps demonstrating the ceaseless pedestrian movement in broad daylight in this area. The site is crowded almost everyday which enables us take everyone by surprise with our construction.
Watching everybody get on with their lives helped us. People's choice of taking more often the escalator than the stairs confirmed strongly our choice.
A research model of the project before the construction with different points of view
Refresh / Adjustment
The chosen site has very singular characteristics compared to the other sites around the Bel air tower. At first sight it seems absolutely symmetrical. This feature is very misleading because the site is anything but symmetrical where every step and every corner is different.
The escalator allows a continuous mechanical movement to the passers-by: we chose to use the descending one. This continuous movement allowed us to know precisely how fast the passers-by advance on this zone.
We decided on a window-table hybrid.
We specifically chose to put our structure on two different planes to optimize the use of our site.
This place is a sort of a passage from one floor to the other and the scenery is not appreciated by many. The window fixed in front of the escalator frames a specific view which attracts people's attention while using the escalators.
The middle batten of the window represents the horizon line of an average person (+ -175cm) going out of the Migros. We have placed this line to accentuate not only the changing of floors but also the changing of skyline.
Our purpose was not to restrict the view but only to frame it, which is why we did not close the window entirely.
A view from the right side of the elevator A view from the middle of the elevator
A view from under the window (end of the elevator) A view from the road side and the pavement
The construction went smoothly: we followed Piet Mondrian's footsteps and got inspired by his abstract painting.
Concentration on details
The frame of the window slides from the front of the escalators to reach the stairs in the middle. Thereafter the window can be lowered and placed on the stairs so that it is on the same level as the platform. The window transforms into a table and therefor can be used by the passers-by.
The different steps of the construction
The person going out of the Migros can step inside the frame and sit down on the steps in the hole to use the table. It can also be used while standing but much further on the stairs.
The center of the stairs becomes not only a place for relaxation but also a place for observation.
Details of the rotation and sliding (Window/Table)
Detail of the stability on the ground Detail of the stability on the guard-rail
Detail of the rope for stabilization purpose (giving a