The AIA of Montgomery annually recognizes excellence in the architectural work of its members. In December of 2011, Platt Boyd and Jeff Bazzell were on hand to accept Seay, Seay & Litchfield’s Honorable Mention for the Stair detail at Dannelly Field’s new Composite Operations and Training Headquarters.

A double-height space with a mezzanine lines the front of Headquarters Building. Aligned with the front entry, a main stair mediates between levels, lofting from the ground to this mezzanine in a graceful swooping curve. A weighty cast-in-place concrete form receives the base of the stair, allowing its intricate steel structure to remain elevated above the ground plane.

The stair is held by a single steel tube, circular in section and curved in two degrees along its length. SS&L designed a custom cast aluminum module to interface between this tube and the treads and rail supports. While the overall swooping form mimics the movement of flight, the machined aesthetics of the module mimics plane construction itself.The industrial palette of the cast aluminum modules and stainless steel rail supports and cables is juxtaposed with the warmth of wood in the treads and handrails. Together, these balance a machine aesthetic and invitation for human interaction.