Some magic happened at the Bridgeland House today: the steel stringers were installed. A feature stair is always something to celebrate, and we're certainly partial to power-coated steel.
Powder-coated steel is a material that never goes out of style. It's the material that we are used to seeing in an industrial context such as warehouses and factories because these uses required durable finishes. When these spaces gentrified into art-galleries and lofts, the rough-and-ready aesthetic persisted.
We have gotten so used to seeing powder-coated steel in these converted industrial buildings that it is no longer a foreign material in a residential context. That said, it is not a common material and still makes the strong statement that a stair is not just a means of getting from floor to floor, but an object of beauty in and of itself.
The C-channel stringers have two flanges are on the outboard side of the web, giving the stair a "book-ended" look. Angle iron flanges are welded to the inside of each stringer to support the treads. The treads will be routed out so that the angle iron will be flush with the underside of each stringer.
This stair looks great with the matching exposed I-beam (protected by plastic in the image above). This I-beam doesn't just look pretty. It is supporting half of the second floor. Steel beams are very useful when spanning long distances without intermediate posts to support it. The result can be an open, continuous space, uninterrupted with vertical structural elements.
I don't know what else to say other than that these stringers are awesome! (Thanks to Gary Campbell for the photos.)