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Newtown Staircase

Sam Crawford Architects

NSW & ACT Entries 2010

This sculptural staircase forms part of a larger fit-out or renovation of a Victorian Terrace house and is key to the project as a whole. It weaves together the three levels of the terrace, from a heavy, subterranean concrete base, via solid yet floating timber treads on the mid-level, to a luminous platform of steel and glass on the upper floor - amplifying the experience of heaviness, solidity and light and weightlessness.

Solid recycled Ironbark treads, suspended from fine stainless steel cable and steel dowels into the wall, also represent a key design intent of the project. That is - to express materials in their raw state. The 70 x 280 solid Ironbark treads are treated with Tung oil only. The "black" mild-steel treads which lead to them are treated with axel grease only. The concrete just sealed and left unpolished.

The formply used to build the lower, in-situ concrete section of the stair, is recycled as cladding to the under-stair cellar joinery. The joiners (Square Peg) carefully cut each formply sheet into 22mm wide strips, turned each strip 90 degrees and re-laminated them to reveal the layers or laminates of timbers used to manufacture the formply, crafting a thing of beauty from one of utility.

Raw concrete/ recycled timber/ re-used formply/ raw steel and glass are set against each other to give a distinct feel to each level of the stair and house.
Entered into:
  • Best Use Of Recycled Timber, 2010
  • Best Timber Joinery or Furniture Element, 2010
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