The Hidden Staircase

Amos Goldreich Architecture was appointed by three separate clients to find a way of integrating their three respective apartments with an existing, Victorian staircase to the rear of their Grade II-listed apartment building.

Built as a hotel and located on the south side of Queen’s Gate Terrace, the site was used by the Royal Navy during the 1940s, and subsequently converted into 32 residential apartments. Though this conversion left the staircase as technically shared, in reality it was only accessible via one apartment, and therefore remained totally unused and hidden for over seventy years. 

The English Heritage document London Terrace Houses 1660-1860 (1996) acknowledges that “the principal and secondary staircases...are vital parts of the character and plan form of most domestic listed buildings and should be kept”. It also states: “As a general rule the character, proportion and integrity of the principal rooms at ground and first floor levels, together with the primary and secondary staircase compartments, should be preserved”.

Our approach to the sensitive scheme was thus to maintain the original integrity, plan form, character, scale, and fabric of the main staircase area, whilst allowing this dramatic and original feature to ‘breathe’ and be rediscovered by the tenants.

This was chiefly achieved through vertical sub-division between units, which is kept to existing landing areas only and thus allows for the majority of the balustrade and main flights to remain exposed.

Location    London
Size           600 m2
Budget      Undisclosed
Status        Planing and Listed Building