Due to our proficiency in staircase manufacturing and our CNC capabilities we’re regularly approached by clients to come up with something a little different to facilitate the journey between floors. However, rarely are we requested to do this twice in one dwelling as was the case when Ridgepro construction director Peter Berry approached us regarding his ongoing contract in Chester.
This was a unique house with two separate first floor levels each accessing two bedrooms on opposing sides of the property. The first staircase would be situated in a large main hall as a design centrepiece and lead to the master suite and one other bedroom. Its primary feature was a floating effect that was created by a steel framework which would then have to be clad over in oak. Although the clients were advised that the cost could be significantly reduced and the steelwork completely eliminated by the introduction of a single newel post, they were insistent that the self supporting effect was of paramount importance, and so the manufacturing of components began. Each piece had to be made from a plywood template that was marked against the steelwork and then fitted into place. The process was made slightly more complex as there was also a stepped quarter landing and cut-string which would expose the steps on either side. Furthermore, the lack of a newel post at the outer corner meant that this junction had to be hand carved to match the sleek handrail design. Despite being highly labour intensive, the finished article was exactly as the 3D design the architect had generated.
The second staircase was also to have its own unique character. As with the main flight steel was incorporated to create a floating effect at the corner of the landing which would again require an oak timber clad. Again, the cut-string design was incorporated, but this time the balustrade was to be made entirely from glass and also serve as the handrails. We were further requested to give the impression that the glass came up from the staircase rather than being fixed with clamps to the outer face. This was accomplished by trapping the glass between two outer strings then planting a continuation of the stair treads and risers onto the outer face. 15mm polished and toughened glass was used to provide structural strength whilst offering enough surface area to act as a handrail.
Some weeks after the clients had moved into their new home they kindly allowed us to visit and photograph the completed staircases which had by then been given an oil lacquer.
Many thanks to Peter Berry from Ridgepro construction for the opportunity to collaborate on two beautiful staircase designs.