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IMAGO ARCHITECTS

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SMALL PROJECTS 2005

Photography by James Morris

This stair installation is totally transparent, allowing light to flood into the side of this terraced house in Holland Park, London, from the rooflight above. And, as it is barely visible, the space it occupies adds apparent volume to the adjacent lounge space on the upper-ground floor.

Magical in its transparent strength, the unique cantilevered construction is without visible fixings. This secret engineering is a delight for the owner and a stunning experience for visitors trusting to tread on something so visually insubstantial. Each tread is cantilevered from the side wall of the house, not touching the next tread, nor the glass balustrade wall, which comprises simple floor-to-ceiling sheets of glass. LED strips beneath each tread emphasise the effect of the structure being unsupported. Finer details include mitred joints to the treads and non-slip, acid-etched grooves at golden-mean spacing. The avoidance of visible fixings produces a timeless design.

The structural engineer was Whitbybird; glass by Hourglass; lighting by Kate Wilkins; specialist paint by Tabatha Riley.

Cost: £56,000

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