Architecture is widely known as a problem-solving profession. And sometimes, solving those problems means using materials or solutions one would never normally associate with design.
Like bowling balls, for example...
Yes, you read that correctly. Bowling balls!
For the new Fountain Middle School in Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8, CRP was working to create an open, yet iconic commons stairway, inspired by the design currently in the Tivoli Student Union. As a focal point of one of the main school spaces, we knew it had to be unique and visually inviting.
However, the challenge in achieving this aesthetic was designing the rounded caps of the railing posts while staying in budget and avoiding extended lead times for fabrication. There was also the idea of incorporating a marbleized look to accent this monumental stair. But once again... budget. And as we all know, marble is not the cheapest of material options.
Working alongside our interior designers, Jean Sebben Associates, meant a creative solution was on the horizon. During a preliminary design meeting, Mike Esch, JSA's Design Director exclaimed, "What if we used bowling balls?". While not a common statement in our usual schematic planning discussions, no one could think of a reason of why NOT to use bowling balls.
So here we are, over a year in the making...
As we wrap up the first phase of this full-building replacement project, we'd like to introduce the official Bowling Ball Capped Stair Rails featured at Fountain Middle School.
In collaboration with Brunswick, we selected a color blend (Patriot Blaze) that celebrated the school colors, red and blue. They ran a special order of non-logo bowling balls for use on this project alone. Each ball was carefully measured and cut for assembly atop the stair post's custom diameter. This also meant that there are no post caps like another, each one is individual in nature; a symbolism in acknowledging that no two students are the same, with each and every one bringing a unique character and light to the new facility. Art C. Klein Construction worked meticulously in detailing and executing the full installation process. This intriguing touch definitely adds something special to the sense of pride and overall experience. And as Brunswick would agree, "Experience Is Everything".
Special thanks to: Jean Sebben Associates, Brunswick and Art C. Klein Construction