31 October 2014
Jun 06, 2013

Stepping Up: Northlander

Photograph Staircases are a complex business in any interior, but with limited space and strict weight restrictions, installing a staircase on a superyacht is extremely inticate. Following Q14 where Adam Lay told SuperyachtDesign about the staircase and atrium he designed on board Lady Kathryn V, we spoke to Cornelis van Vlastuin, Creative Director at EeStairs, about the company’s complex staircase project on board the 38m Moonen motoryacht Northlander.

From design stage to completion, Northlander stood out from similar superyachts because of the attention to detail that went into creating the interior. Rather than settling for the traditional mass-market appeal of a beige colour scheme, Northlander’s designers opted for burnt oranges and chocolate browns, creating a warm, luxurious escape for the owner and guests alike. The opportunity to create a staircase for the four-storey mirrored atrium running through the centre of the Northlander presented a remarkable opportunity to both express ourselves as designers and contribute to a truly innovative project.

Flexibility was key to the Northlander project and we worked closely with the owner of the superyacht to create a staircase that reflected the individuality of the yacht and became a focal point within the interior. We always carefully consider which materials to use in order to meets the highest expectations and so we source woods and stones from across the globe. 

The installation of a feature staircase within such an enclosed space was a pioneering project. We had to design a free form staircase in a limited space in an almost finished interior and the designer was not entirely certain about what he wanted from the staircase. As such, it was integral for us to work closely with the designer throughout the project.

Logistically, the installation was extremely complex. We always recommend that the staircases themselves are kept in large pieces as far as is possible as this keeps the finished product as much more of a single solid unit, underpinning its strength and rigidity. We also had to ensure that the construction was precise and that environmental factors such as gradient, headroom, tread depth and riser height were all taken into account to ensure that the staircase is safe.

A combination of crumpled gold foil on the internal balustrade of the staircase was combined with crumpled gauze on the outside of the stairs, exuding a sense of warmth and opulence, contributing to an already chic interior. The glass dome at the top of the atrium allows light to enter the interior of the decks below, maximising the feeling of warmth as the balustrades are bathed in natural light, making the gold materials shimmer. Integrating lighting into the staircase design has ensured that the presence and allure of the design are sustained even at night.

Keeping up with trends and ensuring bold, cutting-edge design, is vital and reflects a passion for engineering extraordinary products. On this project, the mild steel that frames the gauze of the external balustrade, forming a handrail, brings together modern materials and traditional warm colours. Modern design does not have to mean a stark minimalist interior. 

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