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London Flat Renovation Features Space-Saving Twisted Staircase

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The staircase was made using boatbuilding techniques

This lovely renovation of a two-story flat called Casa Vota in the Hampstead neighborhood of London showcases a sculptural and twisted wooden staircase that was designed using digital fabrication and 3D- and 2D-modeling.

AIA- and RIBA-award winning local firm 51 Architecture helmed the remodeling project meant to enhance the use of space in the 120-square-meter (or 1,292-square-foot) home. To accomplish this, the architects replaced the original, bulky staircase, redesigned the second floor, and added a roof terrace and skylights.

The bespoke staircase, which features an dramatically curving white balustrade and floating ash treads, was developed in collaboration with structural engineer Price & Myers and contractor Triple Dot. Together, they created the balustrade using a CNC machine that cut it out from a 25-millimeter-thick piece of birch plywood, then shaped the piece using steam bending (a technique typically used in boatbuilding).

Traditional woodworking techniques like dovetailing and doweling were also employed in order to eliminate the need for visible hardware: The balustrade is suspended from above and fixed to the walls by the wooden steps. Take a look below and head on over to Dezeen for the full story.