Saturday, April 24, 2010

EMPS: Staring at Rare Stairs

This entry for Ellipsis Monday Photo Shoot #86: Stairs is sort of a sequel to my Round Robin: 3 x 3, Part Two: Wonders of Williams Center entry. Try as I might - and I even asked John - I could not think of any interesting staircases in Tucson, except for the one in the "missing-building-blocks" office building in my entry about Williams Center architecture.

An "FX" shot I did back in 2006, of stairs at the First Magnus HQ.

You see, Tucson doesn't have an abundance of stairs. Most of the housing is either single-level ranch homes, or apartments and condos. Occasionally you'll find two story apartment buildings, but I don't know anybody at the moment who lives in one of those, and that would be pretty darn boring anyway.

That leaves commercial buildings, and the vast majority of these are single story as well. One of the largest hospitals in town, Tucson Medical Center, is a sprawling maze of ground floor rooms and corridors and nothing else. Whoever endowed the land for the hospital, so the story goes, did so on the condition that they never build a second story, which might interfere with mountain views in that part of the city. I suspect that this is why Tucson in general tends to consist of one story buildings, with just the occasional exception. And when you do get an office tower, well, that's going to be mostly elevators, right?

But here is an exception. Inside the big gray twin tower Williams Centre office building that fronts on Broadway Blvd is that rather cool white staircase. Basically it runs between the ground floor and, well, the other ground floor. The way the building and parking lot are arranged, there's covered parking that comes out on the lower level, and a parking deck above that which comes out on the upper level. I always park on the upper deck.

I love the curves and angles of the thing, and the contrast between the white railings and the greenery below.

On the other hand, I almost never go up or down these stairs. I have no reason to do so.

The look of the interior staircase has a half-hearted echo outside. What's really cool about this shot isn't the white railing or the accompanying steps, but the reflection of the parking deck on the back wall of the building itself.

Next Time: my Weekend Assignment entry. But not right now!



Carly said...

Hi Karen

:) What pretty stairs. They remind me of the ones at my HMO, but they also look like the ones at the Title co I worked at in my way long ago youth. :) The first set of stairs look like they might lead to where the Easter Bunny lives. :)


Jama said...

Must be really interesting to be living in the place with single story building around! so unlike my little country. I enjoyed all your photos posted in the previous posts.

Suzanne R said...

What pretty stairs! Very nice ones to have around, unlike around here. I can't think of a place here that has stairs that are so attractive. Nice job photographing them.

Mike said...

Love the dark stairs with the contrasting white railings. They look so clean.