Created for a refurbished Arts & Craft house on the Beaulieu River.
Commissioned by a private client in Hampshire
Charles was commissioned to design and create a bespoke staircase and balustrade for an extensive waterside Arts and Crafts house in Hampshire.
The work had to follow an oak lined, ‘s’ shaped curving interior wall to access an entertainment gallery on the first floor that overlooks the Beaulieu River.
Charles proposed a series of sculptural bronze supports holding oak treads that would follow the curvature of the wall. A bronze balustrade inspired by rippling and flowing water would complete the work and relate it to its site.
The design fulfills a dual purpose; it creatively and safely performs its primary function while making a strong artistic statement within the interior of the house.
After making initial sketches Charles produced a half size maquette of one tread support plus a small section of balustrade. This was created in mild steel, bronze and stainless steel and presented to the client for discussion. The client determined that only bronze should be used and could Charles ‘get on with it’. Nickel aluminium bronze was the selected material for the tread supports and the balustrade.
The newel post, and four meter balustrade were forged free hand to enhance the visual flow of the piece. Any uniformity was further avoided by the decision not to use jigs, which is quite usual for Charles.
To solve the problem of adjustment required at the connection between the treads and balustrade and in order to avoid complicated extra detail Charles designed a small bracket with a collar and a tapered cotter pin that bolted onto the oak tread. This allowed a small amount of vertical movement. Once the pin was driven in everything tightened up and was held securely in place
Installation took three days. Brackets were bolted through the oak wall into vertical box section and concealed behind a built-in wardrobe fitting in an adjacent room. The treads were fitted and finally the balustrade which was in two pieces.
The client was pleased with the result deciding that the staircase complimented the design ethos of the house, enhancing its interior and has gone on to commission other works.
Designed, made and installed by Charles Normandale
and the team from Wheely Down Forge Ltd
Railings, Balustrades & Screens