Somerset House - The Miles Stair
Somerset House Trust
London, United Kingdom
Images: © Richard Davies / Techniker
A new lightweight-concrete staircase with steel core at the Grade I listed Somerset House in London. The design includes an unusual lightweight central core of fine steel strands and beautifully sculpted cantilever treads using ultra-high-performance concrete. The stair connects four levels of the historic building, incorporating 104 treads. The design is based on a traditional stone stair but arranged to spring not from a surrounding wall, but on the central steel mesh tower. It is designed to last for 120 years.
The judges were impressed with the elegance and refinement of this design. The engineers have exploited the strength and dimensional stability of high-performance concrete to produce treads which are themselves works of art. The use of the lightweight filigree steel core adds to the surprise and visual impact. The engineers have succeeded in producing a stair that is extremely refined and provides an important and delightful addition to an important historic building.