A recent project in Highgate from Charles Tashima Architecture showcases our textured Magma Pacaya oak flooring and how architects frequently capitalise on Solid Floor’s bespoke stair components to design one-of-a-kind staircases.
In this project, the house, a new build, in a leafy, established neighbourhood on the edge of Highgate Wood was unique. Access was very challenging due to the mature, protected trees at the front of the property. Thus a construction method was chosen utilising prefabricated external wall panels called SIPs (structural insulated panels). Their relatively small size and weight allowed them to be put in place manually without the need for craning. Their high-performance insulation properties were a bonus.
Magma flooring range
When the homeowner herself visited the showroom she immediately fell in love with our Magma range; a collection of premium, hand-finished floors. Magma’s distinctive character is achieved through a series of treatments: first burned by hand, then brushed with metal wire, then bleached, and finally coloured. The colour in this case is Pacaya, a sophisticated warm brown hue with grey overtones.
Lead architect Estefânio Lemos: “The choice of the flooring was driven by its character, texture and the availability of varied board widths, suitability for under floor heating, and the fact that matching solid timber treads could be provided.”
Choosing the floor
As the design called for the timber to run throughout most of the ground floor and up the stairs, around the landings, the choice of floor was certainly a crucial one. From the front door to the kitchen to the bedrooms, the floor was going to be the unifying architectural element in the house.
The stage is set upon opening the front door, where the visitor is greeted with the first expanse of Pacaya in the capacious, double-height entrance hall. The hand-finished nature of the boards, with their colour variation, is effectively illustrated here.
The floor continues into the large living/dining room with its welcoming, integral bar area in the front and its unobstructed view into the back garden.
From there, the floor carries on into the cathedral-like kitchen, illuminated by its enormous arched window. The Pacaya, in its mixed-width format – featuring planks 145mm, 185mm, and 245mm wide – is particularly striking in this setting with its exposed rafters.
Solid oak treads for the staircase
It was on the staircase where Solid Floor’s expertise really came into play. While the flooring throughout the house was a straightforward installation of the engineered Magma Pacaya board, the staircase was another matter entirely. Painstakingly detailed by the architects, the stair is composed of thick, solid oak Magma Pacaya treads with risers rendered white to match and adjoin the walls. Set into the treads is a sleek, dark iron balustrade. As the stair ascends, it curves gently to address its meeting of the landing edge, whereby each tread has been individually carved, by our installer, to follow the arc of the curving stair.
Magma Pacaya flooring
The landing encircles the entrance hall and functions as a dramatic gallery, the Magma Pacaya flooring running throughout. The same chunky solid Pacaya of the stair treads is found on the landing edges as well. The entire composition is simple to look at, yet complex in its rendering.
This could only be achieved via Solid Floor’s stair components, made to order, individually cut to fit, and integrated into the overall design scheme. In this instance, the textured Magma also provided gravitas and immediate character to the brand-new interior.