For years, Kunshan, a small city bordering Shanghai, has been home to many wealthy Chinese. In the spring of 2014, one resident asked Lukasz Kos and Andrei Zerebecky, who had a partnership in Shanghai at the time, to design the interior of her almost new three-story villa, which, like the surrounding houses, was built in a highly ornamented pseudo-Rococo style. In an effort to move away from the historicist motif and toward a more modern concept, the architects reconfigured the floor plan to create a 30-foot-high vaulted central salon that joins the house’s two wings. The Venetian-plastered vault is created with a double curvature; the most notable achievement, however, is the elliptical floating stair that rises beneath that form. “By opening up the floor and threading this stair through the three levels, we were able to bring in light and create a visual connection between the recreational upper level and the villa’s main floor,” says Zerebecky. Though the stair’s structural steelwork was completed by the fall of 2014, the glass balustrade wasn’t installed until last year, due to its complexity. Says Kos, “The biggest challenge was having faith in the contractor to build the stair as designed. This project became about the suspension of disbelief during the construction process.”