• Stairs in Basement Conversions

    London Basement Conversions: Stairs

    As London architects undertaking basement conversions we have a wide and detailed knowledge of the design of internal stairs. The internal stair presents a good opportunity to design a feature element within a project and a means by which light can be brought down into the basement.

    London Basement Conversions: Stair Design Process

    In the first instance a decision has to be made as to where to locate the stair and this is either as a continuation of the existing stair flights or in an another location where it will itself be seen as more of a feature. Our various London basement conversions have explored both of these options a number of times. In several of our Fulham basement conversions the new basement stair has followed the existing stair run. We have then at basement level both widened the corridor or cantilevered the stair edge to create a sense of space and light on entering the basement. Our basement conversion in Fulham at Broomhouse road successfully follows this route. As a methodology by which relatively little spend on anew stair can still achieve much impact through good space planning and detailing, this approach has much to commend it. A feature stair by virtue of the design approach can be formed in a number of locations and configured in a number of ways. We have at various London basement conversions located the stair in a glass box at the garden lightwell, open within the kitchen dining room, off a glass bridge in an enlarged hallway and a number of other locations. In several of our Kensington basement conversions which have been located in Mews properties the use of stair and the void around it have been very valuable in bringing light down to the basement and also as an opportunity to design light elegant structures. In larger basement conversions in Kensington we have also set a new stair into an existing external lightwell and looked at how it can evolve and develop over five floors.

    London Basements: Detailed Design of Stairs

    Following on from issues of the location and layout of the stair its detailed design is very important. This relates to the style of the treads and risers and the materials used and also the nature of the balustrading, its material and the way in which it is fixed to the stair flight and landings. A number of our basement conversions in London have used oak as the material for treads and risers with glass as the balustrade. This is a simple and elegant composition of materials.

    London Basements: Stair Design – Access, Light and Natural Vent

    A successful internal stair is very often one that combines a whole series of design, spatial, technical and environmental issues into one simple and elegant design. We have been able to follow this approach in many of our London basement conversions. One example is a Fulham basement conversion in Ellerby Street where a stair is located in an open plan kitchen dining room in a large stair void. Above the stair a large format rooflight is set in the side infill and this floods the stair and basement with natural light and provides views of the sky from within the basement. The treads and risers are clad in oak with a simple glass balustrade. Other Fulham basement conversions have incorporated stairs and lightwell set in the middle of the floor plan and again this provides much natural light into the middle section of the basement.

    Kensington Basement Conversion

    One of our Kensington basement conversions has filled in an existing lightwell with a three storey window and then installed the new stair in this area in order that the circulation hallways at every floor are flooded with light.

    Fulham Basement Conversion

    Another Fulham basement conversion, this time in Hurlingham Road features the basement stair set within a glass cube and located at the garden facade giving onto garden and lightwell. This fills the basement with natural light and ensures the barrier between interior and garden is broken down, with excellent unobstructed views of garden, trees and sky.