The works to the Grade 1 listed Somerset House, West Wing, form part of the masterplan refurbishment undertaken by the Somerset House Trust. The aim was to create a viable arts centre by letting the upper floors as office & conference facilities, requiring a new entrance & lobby containing a feature stair plus lift serving 4 levels over 18 metres.
Interplay between historic & contemporary features are at the heart of the design. The design mirrors the essence & drama of the famous Nelson Staircase in the East Wing by William Chambers, a tribute using technology in an appropriate sensitive manner.
The stair is located in a restricted space which led to the circular design, consisting of a stainless steel mesh newel with treads and landings in Ductal, a new ultra-high performance concrete. The outer clear, frameless balustrade allows the user to focus on the gallery of original architectural details still in situ, whilst the stair becomes a feature in its own right.
Special Commendation: ACE Engineering Excellence Award