We began by documenting the shifting qualities of the mostly diffused light within the stairwell, particularly in the volume spanning the third and fourth floor. Using a digital camera set to a constant exposure and aperture, we collected photographs of a set of views through a generally sunny day. At the same time we became interested in the various surface qualities of the space: matte plasterboard, rough painted brick, glossy painted metal, etc.
Soon this train of thought was interrupted by a serendipitous discovery. The light reflected off of the rearview mirror of a Vespa in the parking lot projected clear direct light into the relatively dim space of the stairwell, carrying with it the impression of the tree that stood between the mirror and the wall receiving the projection. This incident redirected our thought. By placing a set of mirrors outside the building, along the rail line perpendicular to the northwest face of the building, we sought to create a schedule of light events in different parts of the stairwell.
In time this lead to a second set of reflections, made within the volume of the stairway, towards other qualities of light. In one case we hoped to bounce the incoming light vertically, nearly parallel to the wall, raking the light along the surface in such a way that the texture would be revealed. In the second case we wanted to bounce the light horizontally from the risers of the stairs, echoing the rhythm of the rise, and also interacting with the passage of the occupants. The first case is potentially blinding for descendors and the second will be more noticeable to ascenders.