How to get Light into Stairwells

With the advent of open plan living arrangements Staircases and Stairwells can be used to create interesting and striking design aspects to rooms, spanning floors and help to merge living spaces on multiple floors.

A badly designed staircase will be one that lacks any form of natural light, which is an increasing design problem with staircases often being placed in the middle of a home or against a wall with no windows.There are many useful and attractive design tricks that you can employ to help create a beautiful, light filled stairwell.If you are able, creating a large frameless window in the stairwell or beside it will bring in a large amount of natural light.For oversized or double height windows a translucent finish to the glass will help maintain privacy to this space or hide an unsightly view outside.

A feature glass staircase with frameless glass balustrades

Another option for dragging natural light into a stairwell is to create a large rooflight above the staircase void. This is usually a viable option as the staircase will travel to the top floors of the house.

A normal, fixed frameless rooflight will work well for most modern designs. An alternative has been designed and created by BLA architects. The Light Plenum works well where the rooflights above are restricted in size with little light entering the space.

“These double glazed units faceted around the curving stairwell reach nearly 6m in height”

“We have used the light plenum over stairs, where there are low levels of natural light, to flood the space with a diffused glow,” says Nick of BLA Architects.

The design of their ‘Light Plenum’ includes adding a sheet of translucent glass, normally with a full sandblasted finish, below a shaped, small or uninteresting rooflight above. The clouded nature of the glass diffuses the natural light entering the stairwell and disperses it widely.

“The cross brace was added into this one to allow a pendant light or sculpture to be hung from the centre down through the stair void” BLA Architects

Once natural light has entered the stairwell the use of frameless glass balustrades to the staircase will allow that natural light to travel further into an open plan living arrangement unobstructed.

By using a high quality toughened laminated glass construction no handle rails or structure is needed for a frameless, neat appearance perfect for most modern design schemes.

Contact IQ Glass for more ways that glass can be incorporated into your stairwell design or view our Pinterest board for more inspiration.

600450 How to get Light into Stairwells

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