Emperor's Gate, London [GB]
EeStairs + Dyer Grimes Architects
This staircase, in a luxury maisonette in South Kensington, London, is a classic exercise in visual contrast. The thick-sectioned treads and risers are faced with darkly stained lacquered wood, giving their saw-tooth outline a graphically powerful rhythm as they rise through three storeys. And this is accentuated by the glass balustrades, thin black steel balusters, handrails and stringers on the six flights of stairs.
The hot-rolled blackened steel of the stairs and the welded-box stringers suit the mainly monochrome palettes of the interiors perfectly. The detailing is deliberately restrained: for example, the glass balustrade sections sit neatly in preformed grooves in both the treads and risers. One super-elegant detail demonstrates the accuracy of EeStairs fabrication and installation: on every fourth step, there is a small but precisely parallel vertical gap between the low-iron glass and the steel baluster.
What isn’t obvious is how challenging the installation was for the EeStairs team. The staircase was delivered in four parts, which were ‘posted’ through the home’s French windows – the widest entry-point. Individual sections of flights and half rest-landings were then installed, rising progressively through four levels.