Monday, November 22, 2010

The Mansion's Grand Stair Hall

Arguably one of the most important impressions that a mansion can make is with what lies immediately beyond the front door.

I have been working on the preliminary design for the grand stair hall, which is central to the house and the first room that guests will encounter after entering through the massive front doors.  Its overall dimensions are thirty-five-feet (35') by twenty-eight-feet (28'), including the stair space.

To explain the preliminary sketch, the view of the grand stair hall is taken from the formal library, which is immediately adjacent (The camera is positioned at the entrance to the formal library, which is accessible from the stair hall by three large archways). Hard to describe in words so I have included the floor plan. The large doorway to the right (flanked with fluted pilasters) leads to the front vestibule with attached powder room and cloak room.  The doorway to the left (also with its fluted pilasters) leads to the central gallery which overlooks the massive two story great room.  

I have kept the theme very traditional.  Upon entering the room, attention is immediately drawn to the large staircase (which is six-feet wide its entire length, and fans out to approximately ten-feet at its base).  The central staircase extends upward to a landing, with matching curved extensions rising fully to the second floor.  Large two-story columns extend the line of sight upwards (and measure a massive three-feet at their base).  The concavity of the upper portion of the stairs (and the wall behind) is mirrored by the convexity of the landing above.  Underneath each balcony behind the doors is additional storage space (alternatively leading to a passage to access the floor below).  The entire staircase is mirrored again by a balcony on the opposite side of the room.

The room is not complete but I wanted to share the preliminary sketch with you.  In the future, the room will be topped by a third floor dome.

The inspiration for the grand stair hall?  Buckingham Palace and Carlton House (see the pictures below).  I particularly like the "sideways" configuration of the staircase in both of these residences.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful designs so far. They are very tasteful and would be fit for any grand estate!

Gatsbyesque said...

I wish it were a turned stair. Is this within eyeshot of the foyer?

Jonathan Brake said...

Gatsbyesque: It is directly adjacent to the foyer. And I'm not sure what you mean by a "turned stair" but as you can see from the blueprint, each extension curves upward to the second level.

Thanks for your comments!

Gatsbyesque said...

I should have been more specific. I meant to say, a stair which curves up on one side and then swoops around or curves up to a landing and then ascends the other wall. I feel it's more elegant.

I'm warming up to yours, however. It is grand, no doubt! I just have a soft spot for what I described. :) :(