No space for a home office? This ingenious study nook proves
that there’s always potential for expansion.
Alberto Rosso decided to utilise the \”dead\” space
above head height. \”You might think of deploying the overhead area as
storage, he says. \” But why just put up a shelf for books, when you can
cantilever a desk for people?’
How was it made? A local blacksmith created the bespoke
cuboid-shaped steel grid that forms the skeleton of the desk and the office
floor; this was encased in a layer of elm. The construction is buttressed by
the structural wall at the back, and about two-thirds of its base rests on the
bathroom ceiling below.
Getting to work – the only way to reach the mezzanine-level
desk is via a specially built staircase that has been attached to the side wall
of the house. The treads of the stairs were welded individually onto a
15-millimetre-thick steel plate off site. Once the structure was intact, it was
fixed to the wall in one go. Pockets between the plate and the wall were pumped
with liquid resin, which hardens and forms a very strong bond, thereby holding
the staircase in place. Next, the whole fixture was plastered over, and the
wall and treads painted to achieve a seamless look – alternatively, you could
have them powder-coated for an immaculate finish. The third tread was extended
along the wall to create a shelf at ground level and wrapped in elm to match
the look of the study.
The technical stuff. The owners advised Studioata that this
would be an adults-only apartment, so no child’s handrail was required;
instead, a linear groove was worked into the top layer of the wall’s plaster.
Simon Springford of Tintab adds that treads on open staircases must be a
maximum of ten centimetres apart to comply with health and safety laws. Here,
each tread was tested to ensure that up to 90 kilograms of weight would result
in no more than a centimetre of flex.