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mews house

remodelling of a staircase

in a developer's mews house

we worked with a fantastic enlightened private client to create a sense of arrival & excitement in the tight entrance lobby of this three storey townhouse in an attractive mews setting in the heart of historic York.

The house had stylish open plan spacious living space, though the entrance was tight & dark, the existing stair was boxed in with a solid, badly detailed MDF balustrade with a poor finish & quality.

to give more light to the entrance we organised our York favourite contractor team to cut off the existing balustrade & replace it with a simple bold structural glass balustrade with tiny patch fixings, countersunk into the toughened glass in stainless steel, to give a tight rigid structure.

Careful joinery work made good the timber string side of the stair and with a crisp overboarding of the treads and risers with polished oak planking, the apparent width of the stair was increased. The bottom step was extended into a platform landing and the start of the balustrade was pushed back to the third riser, as allowed by Building Regulations. Overall the sense of space at the foot of the stair was dramatic, considering the subtle changes. The welcome into the lobby space was improved 10 fold.

Returning the glass balustrade across the sides of the landings and up the next flight of stairs allows good light, spilling in from the generous windows at first floor and falling down the open centre of the stair, even though the stair well is only quite narrow.

The awkward geometry of the stair and the fact that it varied in width as it rose through the property was handled with carefully detailed junctions and the introduction of an intermediate fin wall smooth plastered and painted white.

A surprise at ground level is a hidden storage space under the first step of the landing, for shoes and gloves, like a piece of secret furniture at skirting level, it adds a fun note to the rectilinear spaces and minimalist details.
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