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Marks & Caride Residence - Stairway Railing Made of LEGO Bricks | By I-BEAM Design Architecture

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For those living in New York City, spaces are at a premium, even more so today than a decade ago. A reason why Melissa Marks and Vincente Caride took a "hands-on" approach when they decided to renovate their loft apartment in the Chelsea neighborhood. Together with I-BEAM Design Architecture, the couple, who are also creative types, took time to elaborate each space according to their daily activities. Then when it was time to design their son's room, they went ahead and consult with Sean Kenney, a licensed LEGO Artist (one of two in New York City), for input. Perhaps to instill an inkling of creativity in their son, the couple had I-BEAM Design Architecture design a stairway with railing made of LEGO bricks. Inspired in part by Mondrian colorblock artworks, some 20,000 LEGO building blocks went into the railing's construction. But the best part might its "cool factor" when friends come over to visit. via: CONTEMPORIST

Photography by Travis Dubrueil








The renovation of Melissa Marks and Vicente Caride's Chelsea loft is the result of a thorough collaboration. Melissa and Vicente are creative professionals who were very involved in the design process of their space. The architects and owners worked together to develop a plan that would remain open while creating order amongst a variety of domestic and professional activities. A series of sliding walls each weighing over 500 lbs serve as alternating studio and exhibition walls that reveal or conceal different areas (studio, office and living room) according to the time of day and who is using the space.

Because artists and architects both use lines to express ideas it was decided that different household functions would be delineated and their use defined by a solid walnut line that circumnavigates the loft to become shelving, stairs, door jambs, window sills, desks and countertops, thereby unifying the space while differentiating the various functions that take place there.

A minimal pallet of walnut, carrera marble and white paint was chosen as a backdrop for Melissa's drawings, some of which are made directly on the wall. Only two areas were given a color scheme: the stair railing in their son's room and the bathroom walls in which a variety of blue tiles were hand- placed by the owners to evoke a spray of water.

The stair railing is made of nearly 20,000 LEGO® blocks. I-Beam designed the stairs, structure and Mondrian inspired openings based on LEGO® dimensions (measured by dots) while the Marks/Caride family worked with Sean Kenney, one of two licensed LEGO Artists based in New York City, to create a flow of receding or intensifying color up and down the stairs. The final design is composed of an evolving series of additions made by the people who live, work and play in the space.