Another Beautiful Staircase!
9th February 2016
Like most architects, we love designing and building stairs, and we complete several most years. This exceptional stair, however, demands publishing (and climbing) now.
Six thoughts about it:
1. It occupies and divides space. Its form hints at enclosure to each side, partially screening a ramped way to WCs and showers. One can see through the structure, if one wishes, but it is a gesture of privacy.
2. Its position at the end of a long office space demands a strong focal point, and it delivers. Taking advantage of the scale required for a public stair, its posture is one of eyecatcher.
3. As with all good architecture, it is a natural continuation of the geometric rationale for the entire scheme. It is “on the same hymn sheet”.
4. It is sculptural. Mixed construction of ash, birch ply and stainless steel mesh give relief, colour, depth, and light variance.
5. It is simply built using glue and nails, from a basic ash carcass and beautifully cut birch plywood. Thanks to the carpenters who made it.
6. It satisfies Fire and DDA regulations easily, with not a hint of “compliance”. The Building Regulations are, in general, good law, and it is usually poor interpretation of them that leads to bad design.