Last week one of the major features, that we have been extremely excited about, finally arrived – the stairs! As with most of the other aspects of the building, these stairs were custom built to Austen’s design. You can check out the video of the installation below.
The most notable characteristic of these stairs is that the give the illusion that they are floating with no support. Using a single centrally placed steel beam beneath the treads (commonly referred to as a “single stringer”) the entire structure is bolted to the reinforced concrete floor, brick wall and support beam on the upper floor.
Using our engineering know-how, we could calculate the requirements for these stairs with the aid of the same tools and methods that we use in our design process. It has always been our mantra to design concepts that are plausible and ready for production.
Once the design was finished it was sent over to the brilliant team at Alpine Group (www.alpinegroupuk.com) who specialise in working with iron and steel. They set about building the components and assembling the staircase at their factory in Abbotts Ann, just outside Andover. Once ready, the staircase was delivered in two sections; the upper and lower separately, making it possible to lift off the lorry and into the chapel.
The entire assembly took 1.5 days to complete, as a lot of care had to be taken to ensure every section was perfectly level before bolting it into place. A Genie lift was used to move both sections into place and take the load while the team secured everything in place. With the whole structure being fabricated from solid steel, both sections were extremely heavy and, therefore, the team worked together to safeguard themselves as well as the surrounding structure throughout the installation.
The second staircase has since arrived so more on that one soon.
The are a lot of changes taking place as we approach the end of this exciting project, so be sure to follow the rapid progress. Keep checking the blog for updates!