Webb Yates Engineers completed the structural design of an elegant feature staircase for the new flagship Hermes store in Amsterdam.
The traditional town house was renovated by MVRDV in 2016, with a specially engineered glass brick façade providing a striking and dynamic street elevation. Now home to the luxury French fashion brand Hermes, the latest renovation includes the addition of a mezzanine level, the removal of a blank wall behind the façade to expose the dual aspect, transparent space and the design of a new curved staircase.
Webb Yates Engineers was responsible for the structural design of the main feature staircase. The dark timber clad stair curves from ground floor to mezzanine level and then from mezzanine to first floor level seemingly floating over the open plan retail space. The half-landing at mezzanine level forms part of the lower flight with steel plate stringers spliced to form a central ‘pin’ joint of an arch. A horizontal thrust at ground floor and mezzanine level is resisted by the primary structure with sufficient stiffness to avoid excessive deflection of the stair under load. Treads are formed using folded steel plates which span between the stringers and provide additional lateral stiffness.
The stair is a prominent architectural feature; the dark wood palette is inspired by the typical warm colours and textures of Amsterdam’s architectural landscape. The handrail is clad with Hermes red leather - a subtle yet luxurious design detail.
Through careful detailing and meticulous design coordination, the Hermes store, known locally as the ‘Crystal Houses’, has started its new chapter on the bustling Amsterdam high street.