Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

working details

  • Comment
Cellular Operations, Swindon Richard Hywel Evans Architecture and Design

A precast concrete staircase

A vault of faceted glass panels structurally bolted to curved steel ribs forms the enclosure to the two-storey office building. A staircase set at its centre is the key link between open-plan workspaces on first and second floors. In contrast to the delicate, transparent facade the staircase is a solid, organic construction of fair-faced precast concrete with bulbous treads which socket over an arched skeletal spine like the vertebrae of a dinosaur.

The spine, cast as a single piece in a plywood mould, rests on the cast in-situ concrete floor slab. It is stepped to support individual precast treads, and has a curved underside which tapers to a 'dolphin-nose' end. Parts of the underside are cut out to reduce weight and indicate the path of structural forces.

The first and second treads form a landing to comply with regulations limiting the number of treads in a flight. The treads above are identical; they were cast with flat bases which rest on the steps of the spine and are bolted to it through cast-in holes.

To reduce weight, each tread is cast with a concavity, which is covered with a curved panel of acid-etched 12mm, toughened glass; this forms the walking surface of the tread. The glass, bedded on a neoprene gasket, rests on a 25mm recessed lip cast at the tread perimeter. A light fitting below the glass illuminates the tread. The curved corners of the concavity are fitted with base plates to which the cranked steel balusters are fixed.

A 40mm diameter stainless steel handrail, supported on the balusters, runs at each side of the stair; it is set inside the curved edges of the treads for safety; 13mm diameter stainless steel rods, welded to the balusters, form the balustrade.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs