Transforming furniture may seem like a recent innovation, but architect Dennis Holloway was way ahead of the curve when he developed his own version all the way back in 1968. Born out of a need to furnish the one-bedroom apartment he shared at the time with his wife in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, Holloway's multi-functional "Superstairs" would work just as well in a modern-day home as they did back then (well, perhaps with a coat of paint that isn't quite so Mellow Yellow). Since there wasn't much budget or room for multiple chairs, couches, tables and beds, Holloway designed his 4D Superstairs to act as all of the above, offering 36 different configurations for lounging, entertaining, reading, working and pretty much anything else you can think of. We discovered this fascinating piece of interior design history in the new Summer 2014 issue of New York Design Hunting by the publishers of New York magazine and design editor Wendy Goodman. Click here to learn more about Holloway's invention and don't miss all of the other interior design goodness in the new issue.
The 4D Superstairs system is made up of three tri-level plywood boxes. Holloway fitted the yellow boxes with castors so that they could be moved around easily or locked into position. The pieces could be separated to form distinct areas for lounging or to create space for guests to mingle, and then just as quickly placed parallel to make a bed. Oh, and the boxes were also left hollow so that they could provide extra storage.
If you enjoyed reading about the Superstairs system, there’s plenty more where that came from in the latest issue of New York Design Hunting including a 268-square-foot rental decked out in opulent Park Avenue accoutrements, a renovated Upper East Side home complete with a swimming pool and Japanese viewing garden and an exclusive guide to the city’s best architects, interior designers, plumbers, painters, home organizers, hardware stores, flea markets, and antique shops. Get it at your local newsstand or order it here.
Photographs by Norman McGrath, except where noted.