Stairs can sometimes be the most distinguishing feature of a building’s interior. A beautifully crafted staircase is often the focal point of a building, catching the eye of visitors and providing a primary avenue of access between floors.
The potential held by a staircase has led to many architects focusing on the staircase as a building’s centrepiece when they draw up the plans for a structure. Even existing buildings are placing a new emphasis on stairs when they undergo a renovation or revamp, one prime example being the refurbished entrance to the Tate Britain in London.
The Tate’s stunning new look features a beautiful spiral staircase running between the circular balcony of the building’s domed Rotunda section and the lower floors. The Rotunda’s upper level and balcony had been closed to the public since the 1920s until the renovation took place but it is now a key element of the building, along with the staircase and has brought new life to that particular area of the gallery, which houses a substantial collection of work from renowned British artists including Turner, John Constable and David Hockney. The newly re-opened upper section also features a brand new café and members’ lounge, complete with a 14-metre long bar.
The total cost of the refurbishment was a cool £45 million, raised through a combination of donations by members and businesspersons like oil tycoon Ian Taylor and the Sainsbury family. The Heritage Lottery Fund also provided a grant of £4.9 million towards the work, which was completed in October 2013.
The staircase itself is a breathtaking black and white spiral with shallow risers and curved treads. Thin handrails line each side of the staircase, which has a solid barrier rather than spindles. The stairs blend in beautifully with their patterned surroundings but at the same time, are a work of beauty in their own right. British architecture firm Caruso St John oversaw the project adding to their impressive portfolio of clients, which also includes the Victoria & Albert Museum of Childhood and the Brick House, which earned them a Stirling Prize nomination.
If you want to make your staircase the centrepiece of your home, then look no further than UK Stair Parts. You will find a range of quality stair components such as handrails, spindles, treads and risers and you can also find your nearest stair fitter online so you can have your new staircase in place as soon as possible.
Written by David Chapman of UK Stair Parts