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Making an impression with a spiral staircase

20 January 2021

Spiral staircases are often chosen for projects where space is very tight, but they can also provide a graceful feature within much larger spaces. For Ash Tree Barn, a luxurious 5-bedroom property from Vanmark Group, we created a large diameter Scandinavian spiral staircase within the library, which provides a focal point both inside and out.

Barn conversion staircase

Courtesy Vanmark Group

Creating the Barn

As a family business, Vanmark Group’s ethos is very similar to our own, creating properties which are unique with a real focus on the fine details. Vanessa Taylor, Project Director at Vanmark Group, discussed their approach:

Every project we take on is carefully thought through to ensure our properties are sympathetic to the surrounding areas, following guidance from Archaeologists and Heritage planning constraints. We don’t just build ‘boxes’, our homes have character and quirky elements to make them stand out. We had been looking for a plot at Frilford for some time and when this land came up for sale with outline planning permission featuring 3 completely different properties, we knew this fitted perfectly within our criteria.”

The site earmarked for Ash Tree Barn featured a small, derelict barn which had become so overgrown with ivy that it was impossible to get inside and was too rundown to be underpinned. After relocating a family of bats which were roosting in the walls to new accommodation in a nearby tree, Vanmark’s brilliant stone mason got to work dismantling the barn piece by piece before rebuilding it within the same footprint using the same stone.

Courtesy Vanmark Group

The old barn provides kitchen and dining space attached to the main building via a glass atrium. At the centre of the new home, Vanmark also created a stunning library space with full height glass to the front and rear filling it with light. This space also links to the upper bedrooms via an open landing. To give it an extra ‘wow factor’, they opted to provide access to this via a spiral staircase.

Choosing a staircase

Courtesy Vanmark Group

Vanmark’s architect discovered our website when researching options for the space as Vanessa Taylor explained:

At this time, we hadn’t decided on the style or spec for the stairs and were weighing up the options. Our architect spoke to Ben Harding, who was extremely helpful answering his questions, and so he recommended we use them if we decided to opt for the spiral staircase. We looked on the British Spirals website and found the Scandinavian style spiral and immediately fell in love. It worked perfectly with the materials we had chosen to build the barn with such as natural stone and anthracite cladding. Ben suggested we powder coat the handrail to match the colour of the cladding and we were sold. Because it’s a hand-built product they can basically bespoke the stairs to your requirements.”

Given the large dimensions of the space, a typical diameter staircase may have ended up looking out of place. For this reason, we designed the staircase in a much larger diameter of 2300mm, creating additional visual impact whilst also providing plenty of tread space for the homeowners.

Our Scandinavian spiral staircases are extremely versatile and we can supply the treads in a wide range of Grade-A timbers. To embody the name of the property, in this case the treads were specified in characterful Ash with matching Ash risers.

Courtesy Vanmark Group

With the family looking to move in in time for Christmas, Vanmark faced a race against time during the pandemic so it was important that they could rely on all the suppliers to deliver on time without compromising on quality.

“We were very happy with the service we received from British Spirals & Castings” Vanessa explained. “Nothing was too much trouble, the drawings were turned around quickly and efficiently. Ben and Joe were easy to get hold of at any stage of the project (which is crucial when you are project managing the build). Any queries were resolved quickly and efficiently. It was a nice touch when we received photos of the staircase in the manufacturing process, it was also reassuring when you put your trust into a company that are not local to you and you have never had dealings with before. Delivery was scheduled on a particular day and turned up and off loaded as promised. The design of the spiral meant that our carpentry team and Site Manager could assemble the stairs with limited fuss as it all slotted together. They even supplied some colour coded paint for any scratches or damage to the handrails and balustrades during the installation process, which was very useful.”

Despite all the challenges posed by the pandemic, through their expert project management, Vanmark made good on their promise to get the property handed over for 18th December, a testament to their dedication and quality workmanship. You can take a look at the properties Vanmark Group are currently working on here.

If you are interested in having a bespoke spiral staircase installed in your own property, visit our gallery to view some of the options and submit a quote or get in touch via phone or email.



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