Hill House, Kent - 2012 RIBA Award Winner

This was a challenging project. The steel staircase and balustrade were the central feature to this new home. The design intent was to create a dynamic structure, which drew one's eye from the lower floor along the stair line to the first floor, with the carefully placed roof lights high above.

Although massive in size, the stair floats over the lower floor and then cantilevers from the outer wall, finishing as a balustrade to the first floor landing. The components were fabricated off site and, with the use of lifting equipment, were craned into position. We then had to weld the structure together to achieve the required rigidity. All the welding was undertaken on site using a Tig welding process, which ensured a consistent finish to the weld, all of which was left in its natural state, i.e. not ground or sanded.

The steel plate has a hot rolled finish, onto which we applied a wax to give a deep and protective lustre. The finished result was wonderful; it brought a subtle stability to the space and added to the complexity of this marvellous new house. Since finishing, the house was short-listed for the Stephen Lawrence Award for Architecture and won a RIBA South East Downlands Award for 2012, also the Kent Design Award 2012 – Housing bringing the architects, Hampson Williams, and all who worked on it, these well earned accolades.

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