To elevate the look of a two-story library in a historic, 1926 mansion, the owner wanted a floating, semi-spiral staircase to connect the floors. The Luxury Homes team was excited to help bring this vision to life, but recognized two challenges: 1) the staircase wasn’t fully designed prior to construction, and 2) it wouldn’t self-support like a normal staircase since the first 25% of the stairs were straight. In devising solutions, the team kept the client’s preferences in mind, eliminating any strategies that wouldn’t achieve the design goals. Different project teams wanted to use steel, but Shawmut realized it would be too heavy since the staircase was connecting to a floating second floor. On top of that, the finish wouldn’t achieve the client’s desired aesthetic. The Luxury Homes team determined that a wooden staircase with fiberglass reinforcement would provide the perfect weight and stability.
Needing a true expert in fiberglass, Shawmut enlisted a sub-contractor with boat building experience and collaborated with them to create a custom plywood frame that was light and strong, and built the stair stringers on a custom jig. To ensure the staircase blended in seamlessly with the overall design, the team installed a custom fiberglass panel to enclose the structure and conceal the railing fasteners, which was finished with paint to make everything look like one composite structure.
To keep the beautifully finished floors in tact as much as possible, the Luxury Homes team developed a tailored method to support the stairs on the floating floor—they installed additional support beams in the basement and fabricated a bracket that connected to the base of the stairs, rather than cutting a large metal plate through the floor.
The end result was a masterfully-crafted staircase that looks as if it’s always been part of the home.