The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 85 (2007) > Issues > Issue 17 > Timber cantilevered staircases
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Timber cantilevered staircases

The history and technology of stone cantilevered staircases has been addressed occasionally in the literature. However, during the 17th Century, timber stairs of hollow construction based on the same principles were also developed. This paper explores the issues relevant to construction in timber and examines a rare surviving example of a timber cantilevered staircase in detail, including an appraisal of its structural integrity. It concludes that timber cantilever stairs were a light, highly elegant and structurally sophisticated design and existing examples should be preserved, but that the structural importance of some of the construction elements may not be immediately apparent. This has important implications for the renovation and preservation of timber cantilevered staircases. P. Begg, BSc, MSc, CEng, MICE, FCIArb Lecturer, The Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and Built Environment, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen

Author(s): Begg, P

Keywords: timber;stairs;cantilever construction;HISTORY;historic buildings;torque;hollow;appraising