Carriage House Renovation

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General Contractor

    Integrity Development & Construction

Designer

    Salmon Studios

Year

    2014

Location

    Amherst, MA

  Salmon Studios was contracted to design, fabricate and install a unique stair and railing solution for a historic carriage house renovation in Amherst, MA. The project initially called for a simple ladder to access the loft space and master bedroom, but the design quickly evolved in a sculptural, and more practical, focal point of the home. A delicate balance of iron and wood, the skillfully formed staircase was engineered to wrap around, but not touch, of the vertical timbers - becoming a structural member of the house and complimenting the existing material pallet. The helical shape presented many fabrication challenges, but also allowed for creative solutions to the curved railing; adding hammered textures and organic shapes to the intimate space.

  The backbone of the staircase consists of two 1/2" mild steel plates, formed with a massive rolling machine and then split in half to facilitate the difficult installation. A hand-forged system of vines makes up the railing support, while code-complaint baluster spacing and infill are made from solid round bar. All surfaces were blackened and hot-waxed to retain the natural look and richness of the material. The wedge shaped treads were crafted in-house from reclaimed Douglas Fir and supported by a pair of embedded cross bars joining the two stringers.