Bell Phillips installs folded steel staircase inside London home


A folded steel staircase runs alongside an exposed brick wall to connect the two levels of this east London flat by architecture studio Bell Phillips.

Lansdowne Drive staircase by Bell Phillips Architects

Located in Hackney, the home is one of several created through the conversion of a Victorian school building characterised by walls of yellow-hued London stock brick.

Lansdowne Drive staircase by Bell Phillips Architects

South London-based Bell Phillips – whose recent projects include a park inside a converted Victorian gas holder – demolished a former staircase that once ran parallel with the apartment's mezzanine level.

Lansdowne Drive staircase by Bell Phillips Architects

The team replaced it with a new stair constructed from a six-millimetre-thick sheet of steel that was folded and welded before being finished with a coating of atomised brass.

This is positioned at the far end of the living area, alongside one of the exposed brick walls.

Lansdowne Drive staircase by Bell Phillips Architects

"The minimal slimline design of the stair increases the sense of space whilst adding a focal point to the living area," said the architects.

"The delicacy of the folded plate steel stair has been designed as a counterpoint to the exposed brick walls of the existing building."

Lansdowne Drive staircase by Bell Phillips Architects

"The brass finish gives a tonal warmth and depth of finish to the stair that compliments the colour and texture of the brick to create a dialogue between the old and new," they added.

Lansdowne Drive staircase by Bell Phillips Architects

A matching handrail runs alongside the stair, screwed into the brickwork.

Bell Phillips – established in 2004 by Tim Bell and Hari Phillips – also added folded steel steps to a property in south London. A similar staircase also leads up to a mezzanine level in a warehouse conversion by fellow London architect Sadie Snelson.

Project credits:

Architect: Bell Phillips Architects
Structural engineer: Price and Myers
Metal fabricator: Force 5 Engineering
Contractor: Ask Interiors

  • Cooking The Books

    Building regs compliant?

    • rohtmuz

      There are no signs of anything being removed after sign-off from building regs (if even this has been overseen by a building inspector?).

      • Cooking The Books

        AFAIK, you need a handrail anywhere where the drop is 600mm or more. So they must have done something or not been inspected. I always see open-sided staircases on here in Japanese homes and think, ‘Lovely, but you couldn’t do that in the UK’, but here we have one in the UK.

    • Andrew Badley

      Party poopers.

      • Guest

        Planners more likely.

        • Cooking The Books

          That’s a bit below the belt.

  • John Hockman

    Not only is it missing a handrail and guard on the side, but the tread design, rise and run, does not look to be compliant; and it violates all sorts of safe-stair design criteria such as having a tread nosing or backwards incline on the riser.

    Looks good though and could meet all the other requirements if planned properly!

  • Christian Clemares

    It doesn’t comply but I love it! Well done.

  • Good result.