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Stone Cantilevered Stairs

The first cantilevered staircase was built in England – a masterpiece of Andrea Palladio, known for his breathtaking spiral staircases, exploring Roman Architecture virtues. However, the first stone cantilevered staircase, the “Tulip Staircase”, can be found in the Queen’s House at Greenwich, London, England

Tulip Staircase


The Tulip Stairs was the first geometric, self-supporting staircase to be constructed in the United Kingdom. Built for the Queen’s House (construction inspired by Palladianism) and designed by Inigo Jones, the work was assisted by his mason, Nicholas Stone. The Queen’s House is one of the most important architectural structures in British history and (along with the Tulip staircase) is also the first classical building constructed in Great Britain

18th Century

The vast expansion and growth of classy houses emerged during this period, particularly in Stowe and Stourhead. This is the era when staircase designs became more elegant and daring. The Victorian Gothic revival started the campaign of making these fine staircases into gravity defying works of art.

Palladian Architecture
This is the European architectural style inspired by the designs of Andrea Palladio. Palladian architecture became known during 19th to 20th centuries Alliterative/symbolic nature is the focus of the Palladian works of art.

Conservation of Cantilevered Staircases

These are the possible causes and solutions encountered by this kind of grand staircase:

1. Damage in an individual tread/group of treads – like cracks or deterioration of the stone tread itself, which may have been caused by heavy objects or too much weight that cannot be supported by the stairs. This can be fixed by stitching the cracks together or by inserting stainless steel dowels. Stitching the cracks together can be achieved by drilling holes on either side of the crack and binding with a grout. On inserting stainless steel dowels, resin is injected around the dowels to stabilise the cracks.

2. Rigidity loss in walls or “in between” treads – if they are not tightly embedded, movement between the treads might occur (these are not as flexible as normal staircases). This problem can be remedied by tread re-interlocking.

3. Weakened by the cutting-in of new nosings – new nosings are dealt with by cutting back the steps to new lines. It is also important to keep in mind that the treads should be supported by a stringer. To remedy this, you can simply cover with carpet or you may build up the original staircase profile using a resin-based mortar.


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This entry was posted on August 28, 2014 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , , .
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