Very Edgy 6 flight switch back stair, built in 75 days!

Switch Back Stair with Glass Rail

A Client, designer, and builder were creating an exceptional home on a waterfront property. Initially, there were a few design ideas for wooden stairs, some with glass rail, but they just didn’t have the design, the character the client wanted.

Meanwhile, the rest of construction was moving along, framing was completed and in the mechanical stages by the time we were aware of the opportunity to create a stair with a very unique design. The discussion for design, budget and attachment details extended things out even more.  The drywall was in place and painted by the time we arrived onsite for our first round of measurements at the end of February. The house needed to be completed by Memorial Day, the end of May. The deadlines were extremely tight and the pressure was one.

The structural stringer members were 8″x4″ steel tube, 3/8″ thick. All tread plates and risers were 3/8″ thick steel plate. The treads were 2″ thick solid white oak, and the entire railing was glass panels, with no visible frame. The concept was as if the glass hung in mid-air. This was achieved with an ingenious bracket strategy, by embedding the bracket within the wood tread, but directly attached to the rigid steel structure, it was sturdy, but the bracketry was nearly invisible.

Glass Rail with Stainless Steel Handrail

The polished stainless handrail was attached to the glass panels with a minimalist approach as well. The handrail also helped to stiffen the glass. Adding to the challenge, there were also a floating, radiused landing as part of our scope, including curved glass.

All of the curbing and fascia was metal as well, with nice crisp corners and edges, including on the radius portion on the 3rd floor, that was over 17ft.

The design time was accelerated, all components were fast-tracked, each individual stair was set up and constructed in the shop, sandblasted, and powder-coated. The craftsmen started early and worked late nights and Saturdays and we were able to install 2 days before Memorial Day, less than 75 days after receipt of signed contract!

Modern Railing and handrail showing a unique and challenging curved area

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