Brady Mallalieu Architects are carrying out the phased refurbishment of the offices of London law firm Brown Rudnick’s Mayfair office the centrepiece of which is an eye-catching bespoke staircase within the central atrium space, designed and manufactured by EeStairs.
The property, listed Grade 2, was once the home of Thomas Walker, Surveyor General of Crown Lands, and housed his extensive collection of paintings including a number by the Dutch and Italian masters. The most renowned feature in the property is the oil mural painted on the walls of the entrance hall and first floor around the original stone staircase. The building had been extended to the rear with a modern office building and the glass roofed atrium connects the two parts at the centre of the plan.
Brown Rudnick use the space for seminars and larger group meetings as well as for hospitality events and social gatherings. All these uses were being compromised by very poor acoustics in the room, the hard, reflective surfaces causing harsh reverberation problems. The space also required a more direct access to the main reception for public functions as the previous route was through a service corridor area.
The sound issue was tackled by panelling the walls with an acoustic timber batten system and the access issue was tackled by installing the steel, black and white spiral stair from ground floor down to Atrium level which also adds a sculptural feature to the room. The top of the wall panelling creates a strong horizontal datum around the room at ground floor level that we didn’t want broken by the balustrade of the stair. For this reason the section of the balustrade above floor level is made with glass which continues the curving form of the steel construction below. EeStairs were able install a TransParancy® glass balustrade that tapers into the main steel balustrade.
“For us there is certain serendipity that both the staircase and artwork, by Ditty Ketting, in the atrium have Dutch origins, after all the building used to house artwork by the Dutch masters. Although it may seem small this simple link to the buildings past unites the history of the building with this contemporary space,” says J Scott Burns, Managing Partner, Brown Rudnick.
“The atrium is now enjoyed by all our staff and clients who use the space for meetings and functions,” adds Burns. “After hours the furniture is moved to make way for yoga and exercise classes and we have even held food and drink and social events in the atrium.”