Process: Rhein Haus Stein Trees & Corbels

The Rhein Haus Stein Trees started with a photo of a single level glass storage island that James Weimann and Deming Maclise took while doing research for the Rhein Haus project. From there, the idea of a multilevel, LED lit, glass storage tower complete with knuckled corbels gradually took shape until we arrived at the first generation Stein Trees that Mētis built for the original Rhein Haus. The design of Rhein Haus Denver called for a single large Stein Tree. The photo above shows the mock-up that was fabricated and gradually modified as the design was worked out.
The exact dimensions, angles, and spacing of the corbels supporting each of the shelves was worked out using plywood cutouts. The goal was to create a piece that felt airy while at the same time providing a stable platform for glass storage.
The craftspeople at Mētis looked to photos Notre Dame and other Gothic cathedrals for inspiration as the complicated geometry of the corbels and intersecting arches was worked out.
The corbels securely grasp each shelf...
The intersecting arches defining the center of the piece are perhaps the single most interesting design element.
Viewed from the side, the negative space of the arches dominates to dramatic effect.