As we walk, cycle and drive through Berlin we quickly note the ever-recurring firewalls. Designed to protect against fire, these massive walls characterize the Berlin cityscape. In courtyards, streets and public places, the firewalls emerge and act like a grotesque and disruptive separation of spaces. However, a closer examination reveals they offer various spatial possibilities.
In order to enable a public roof utilization at the Pfefferberg, in Prenzlauer Berg Berlin, such a party wall shall be enhanced as a public staircase. As a spatial experience, an extended urban space, a place of leisure with the goal to reach the roof. Thus, the staircase should not only be functional but also an architectural space as a consequence of conditions such as construction, geometry, space, and material.
From the basic form of a narrow band, an edge is formed as a step. Each individual step adds an extra few centimeters of space. Through this ledge large space is achieved while the plates never lose their small width. The final staircase is created by a constant protrude of the individual panels. This results in five different stairs modules, which protrude irregularly forward or backward.
Through the displacement of the five individual stair modules, openings are created through which the next compartment can be reached. Each individual module thus brings more space into the resulting positive and negative spaces.
Due to the distance to the firewall, the staircase has a certain lightness and stands out as an independent sculpture-like structure.