Moskito Island: Spiral Staircase

Animated Accent Lighting in Polished Surfaces

This project evolved from a brainstorming session we had with the client and his architectural firm.  The spiral staircase is to be the centerpiece in a new house in the Bahamas, its open-air bottom floor transitioning into a second-story balcony.  Local tropical hardwood is being used for much of the construction, and the vision is to keep a natural look and feel while integrating beautiful interactive lighting.

We were asked to create a lighting plan to help make the staircase come alive.  Looking at the designs, all we could think about was that it looked like a tree from the movie Avatar; the stairs like the leaves, the shroud like a trunk.  The lighting would look like raindrops rolling down the outside of the shroud, and the light on the steps (leaves) would spiral out from the center pole.

We chose this project as the first to roll-out our new immersive pre-vis technology.  We designed the concept in the Unreal game engine and used a VR headset to demo the design to the client.   When we dropped him in the middle of our design he was blown away, and immediately understood the message we wanted to convey through the lighting concept.

Working with our fabrication partners to integrate the lighting into the delicate construction is going to be the major challenge of this build.  We have a good plan and it’s looking good on paper but no plan ever survives the first day of battle, or so the saying goes.

As the build progresses we’ll keep you updated with new pictures of the install.  We’re all looking forward to spending the install in the Bahamas, lounging in the sun and letting the interns do all the work (we wish).  This will undoubtedly be one of our premier projects and we’re stoked to work through the challenges together with our partners.

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