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Matthew Kidner Staircase

15 May 2024

This project came about when some good friends of mine asked if I could help them to realise a remodelled staircase, as part of a renovation of their period, terraced house they had recently moved into.

As they are both architects, the ideas and designs for what the staircase would become were all home-grown, and centred on retaining the original wooden stringers and treads of the staircase, but replacing its broad, wooden banisters with slender, vertical spindles of powder-coated steel, to form a delicate balustrade that, over time, plants would be able to climb and cling to. Overlaid, but not touching, this balustrade would be a handrail and, at the foot of the stairs, this would flow into something more organic in its shape, from which coats and bags could be hung.

My role was to help bring my friends’ designs to life by fabricating (with the help of some of my friends) and installing the necessary hardware. Steel flat had to be threaded into the ceiling void and bracketed to existing steel I-beams using Lindapters; this would receive the threaded tops of bright steel round bars to form the balustrade – the lower end of each passing through a boss mounted on the side of the staircase stringers.

At the same time as we were preparing the aforementioned, off-site, we were also bending and forming CHS, according to the 1:1 pattern my friends had printed out, to create the flowing, organic shape of the handrail – this had to split and socket at three points, mind you, so that I could transport it to their house!

All of the above underwent a dry-fit at their house, in bare steel, before I took it away again for final refinements and powder-coating. Once powder coated, I returned to their house, and we installed the final fit together. The complete renovation of my friends’ house, with the staircase at its heart, was later featured in the March 2024 edition of Homebuilding and Renovating magazine.


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