The Portledge Rear Staircase
Interiors Winner 2016
Location: Bideford, Devon
Architect: Witcher Crawford Architects and Designers
Joinery Company: Warren Hughes Furniture
Wood Species: German Walnut, English Oak
The new rear staircase is designed as a distinct contemporary insertion into the old Medieval service wing of Portledge House, a Grade II* listed Manor House in north Devon. The stair replaces a damaged multi-phase service stair and forms part of a re-ordering of the house. The staircase blends with the wall paneling to create a homogeneous design using English oak chevrons between darker walnut fins. On the staircase, the walnut fins form spindles topped with a leather handrail. The spindles are cut with arcs of varying sizes to create an organic flow. CNC machining was used prior to the staircase being assembled by hand using traditional joinery techniques. Its design as a bespoke sculptural piece was instrumental in its approval by Historic England and the local Conservation Officer.