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Nelson & Marlborough



‘R h y t h m i c  S c o r e ’

“A standard definition of a musical score is ‘a copy of a composition on a set of staves braced and barred together’ (Oxford Classical Dictionary) or staves ‘that are vertically aligned so as to represent visually the musical coordination’ (Grove Concise Dictionary of Music).”

Client brief:

My client’s staircase is at her front door and has been a point of drab over the years. Functional but nothing to look at. The wall dividing the two directions of flights was trapping you in a narrow passage as you descended. She considered the extensive costs of solid timber treads to hide the visual onslaught of carpet wrapped stairs, but was worried about the acoustics in the double volume open space. She wanted natural timber and it needed to harmonise with the concrete block wall.

Design Statement and Challenges:

My first challenge was to open the entry of the client’s house. I cut down the wall, that closed the second set of risers, off at an angle. From the kite winder to the first riser I enclosed the flight with a spandrel to hide the structural stringer. I joined this to the balustrade with a solid shoe rail that connected to the spandrel with a negative detail. This started the staircase’s musical journey that reminded me of a soprano doing warm up scales. The Solid Oak balustrades started from the ground floor meeting a rake rail parallel to the shoe rail, then pausing at the level rail as you enter the winder. From here onwards the stairs and handrails completed the Octave.

The main Newel Post had to be anchored and I made use of an exposed beam for support. Flexible LED strip-lighting softly illuminates your path creating the moodiness of a sunset. The elongated windows reflecting the time of day.

The once oppressing closed in staircase has become an open rhythmical journey.

Key Features

. Solid American White Oak clear lacquered with a 30% gloss level

. MDF spandrel and shoe painted to match house colours.

. Hafele flexi strip-lighting