a college classmate of mine recently added a library to his home and, with that addition, needed a way to gain access to all of his books and prize possessions on display, particularly the ones higher up. He commissioned me to design and build this one. The process itself was an adventure because of the challenges involved. In the first place, the steps obviously had to be sturdy, supporting a man's weight at 3 different levels; secondly, it had to be safe - I certainly wouldn't have wanted for my friend to sustain some injury climbing or descending his steps; thirdly, it had to be easily movable from one side of the room to the other but with the option to 'lock down' when climbing and fourth, it had to look great. Probably the most difficult design and building challenge of my career. Since the prototype would be the finished piece, I had to be sure to resolve all design, aesthetic, practical and construction issues in a full-scale mock-up.
solid cherry steps on locking casters
approximate measurements: 24"w x 24"L x 30/72"h
this piece was custom designed based upon old library steps from a private club in Manhattan.
peaslee design [or Clark] worked with me to create a unique and perfectly functional set of library steps. I needed a way to get access to books on high shelves and the space and shape of the room did not lend itself to a traditional rolling ladder solution. The design concept evoked traditional 19th Century free-standing library steps that were movable and compact. But the execution used materials, turned structural elements and proportions that were consistent with the more rustic but classical library room. A lot of attention was paid to the functional aspects of the design: the casters, the step surfaces, the balance of the handle used to tilt and steer the steps and the sturdy rustic finial. I now have a beautiful and functional piece that will last generations.