A bespoke staircase made in Somerset by Exmoor based West Country Blacksmiths has won the Architects’ Journal specification award 2019 in the category of ‘Stairs and Lifts’.
The award winning staircase designed and made working in collaboration with London based architects Foster Lomas and Conisbee Structural Engineers. The metalwork was made for a rural retreat in the nature reserve of Sartfell Mountain on the Isle of Man. Sartfell retreat plays a key role in the local outreach Educational policy with the Manx Wildlife Trust. Inside, the triple-height staircase and library provide a knowledge centre which provides a knowledge centre which sees the stair binding the building together.
In total over eight tonnes of steel was used to produce the bespoke staircase, walkways and bookcases. The bespoke metalwork was designed and produced in Somerset by West Country Blacksmiths and sent to the Isle of Mann on two lorries. A team of six blacksmiths meet the steel in the Isle of Mann and erected it over seven days.
Shortlisted against some of the country’s largest and most prestigious projects including the Bloomberg European Headquarters, De Beauvoir House & Aynhoe House, The Judges were fulsome in their praise for this the winning project.
The four judge panel consisting of top industry experts unanimously awarded the prize to blacksmiths and said ‘It’s fantastic – a seamless collaborative effort between Architect, engineer and craftspeople. They clearly showed where the collaboration had taken it, and it just got cleverer and cleverer. You could see that refinement going on, and that story continues inspire others. They’ve gone to extraordinary lengths to perfect it. Everything is explicit; you can see how it works. It makes you smile.’
The metalwork has been finished with a unique antiquing acid etch treatment with a protective lacquered finish with exception of the handrail which has been hand polished prior to the protective lacquer finishing. The treads and walkways have been made from perforated stainless steel which has been grain polished finished.
West Country Blacksmiths co-founder Kieren Roberts said ‘We dedicate alot of time to every small detail on every project and aim to produce the very best quality metalwork and for to have be recognised by leading industry experts it overwhelming. We were privileged to be given the opportunity to work alongside Foster Lomas architects on this project and we’re extremely proud of we all achieve as a team.’