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The Chase

A perfect plot doesn’t always have the perfect house.

Located in a Green Belt Wash area, the existing bungalow bizarrely ignored the substantial mature gardens that surrounded it. A study was undertaken to explore how this could be rectified with the conclusion that there were far more advantages in completely demolishing the existing and starting afresh. One of those advantages is that new builds are VAT exempt.

Through careful negotiation with the council, planning consent was gained for a new home that more than doubled the floor area of the existing. Connection to the garden areas formed the driving force for the layout design with a large double height entrance hall with two curving, cantilevered steel and glass staircases forming the centre piece to the new home.

By using a simple pallet of materials of glass, timber and dark grey zinc cladding and a carefully chosen brick, a very contemporary home has been created that connects fully with the gardens and the life style of the Clients.

The Moorings – Bespoke Staircase Design

Linking the two floor levels of this house is a floating stairs that cantilevers out from a concealed concrete wall. The stairs appear to float and create a wonderful centre piece to the living area of the house.

Parry’s Lane – Bespoke Staircase Design

When my Clients were looking to buy this house, I was commissioned to provide advise on how the existing house could be adapted to meet their needs. My design concept ignited their imagination and the house was bought. The site has its challenges in terms of access off the main road, parking, the different levels of the front and rear garden of over 2 meters, and its existing layout.

I addressed and solved all these issues by firstly designing an up-side-down layout where the day time living accommodation is moved to the first floor. The open plan kitchen/lounge area now flows out onto the private rear garden. Secondly, by reducing the levels to part of the front garden, a large drive area has been created that allows for cars to park and turn around so that they can drive forwards out onto the main road.

Additional floor area has been created by partly sinking a three storey side extension so that the integrated garage is at the same level as the lowered drive, and forming a large rear extension that spans from the existing house onto the rear garden. The existing house has been over clad with render, stone and timber which allows the existing structure to be insulated and for the existing house and extensions to read as a completely new home. Internal spaces have been opened up and feature trussed roof spaces used to create volume and light to the interior.

Normanton on Trent – Bespoke Staircase Design

Part of the design for this new house was to create a stairs that linked the single storey element of the house to the second floor level. I achieved this by creating a glazed external pod that the side cantilevered stairs rose into. This created a stunning central feature that visually linked the floor levels, brought large amounts of day light into the house, and created a feature worth talking about.

St Georges Hill – Bespoke Staircase Design

My commission was to help complete the construction package information and design a bespoke three-level spiral staircase as the main feature element for the entrance hall to this house.

The floor openings to fit the stairs through had already been cast in concrete. So it was a case of careful measurements and lots of inspiration to create stairs that gave a real WOW factor and fitted into the space I was given.

The design concept was to create a stairs that floated from level to level with little visual support or weight. To achieve this, we created a lightweight spiral staircase that was supported by the floor slabs without any central support. The use of glass balustrades gives the stairs a transparency that allows the volume of the entrance hall to be retained while creating a beautifully curved feature.

The Chase – Bespoke Staircase Design

At the heart of this new house which I designed, I also designed a curved double staircase to create the grand double height entrance foyer my Clients wanted.

The concept for the stairs design was inspired by the more traditional sweeping stairs found in manor houses and stately homes of older days. I reinterpreted this with modern materials, fully detailing and specifying every element of the stairs. I sourced a fabricator and then over saw the fabrication and installation of the stairs.

By using steel supports hidden within the oak treads, the stairs is cantilevered out from the side wall with no other support. This makes the stairs appear to float up along the side walls. The careful attention to detail with the glazed panels, bolts, oak and stainless steel cover plates brings a simple elegance to beautiful stairs.

The Knoll Staircase

As part of the design concept for this house, a vertical glazed element contains the stairs and delineates the living and sleeping zones. The open plan living spaces give glimpses of views throughout the interior. The design concept for the stairs was to enhance the living space and these views.

The stairs fit lightly within its location by taking its support from concealed cantilevered steel struts fixed into an in-situ cast concrete wall on one side only. Each strut is cloaked in oak to form the individual steps to the stairs. The stairs will be completed with a triangular screen of glass to act as a transparent balustrade. The effect will be to give the illusion that the stairs is supported by the glass which is hung from the landing above.

The oak handrail was crafted to be recessed into the wall and to allow the hand to comfortably slide along its contours. At night, a concealed strip of LED lights illuminates the length of the inner zone to the handrail, creating both practical lighting and a stunning visual effect.

"My wife and I had some vague ideas of what we wanted, however, the expertise, creativity, and knowledge provided by John Morris have transformed our brief into the vision of a dream home." 

- Richard Mitchell, Ealing

" It was the first time that we have used an architect and we found that the use of John's services was paid back both in terms of the savings that he was able to identify through excellent contacts and helpful advice as well as the added value for the house. It also helped us avoid making expensive mistakes through a piecemeal approach." 

- Martin & Lyndsey Done, Gunthorpe

"John Morris Architects was one of three architects we found on the internet. After a couple of meetings with each of them and John's initial concept design, we found it very easy to make our choice. I would recommend John Morris architects to anybody and would love to work with John on another job in the future." 

-Simon & Sharon Moss, Nottingham

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John Morris Architects is an award-winning Nottingham-based architecture firm, offering contemporary residential architectural services throughout Nottinghamshire and surrounding areas.
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