London terrazzo expert, Diespeker & Co achieved innovative design solutions for flooring and stairs during a recent refurbishment of a Mayfair boutique for fashion brand J&M Davidson.
Working with the project architects, Barber and Osgerby’s Universal Design Studio, the company developed new skills resulting in the seamless matching of cement-based and resin-based terrazzo on both timber and concrete substrates.
From the start, the architects were keen to work with muted colours for a calming, neutral ambience, opting for a bespoke resin based terrazzo without joints in grey and cream, using 5-8mm Italian marble chippings White Carrara, Rosso Verona and Dove Grey, resulting in an elegant and subtle floor.
The overall desired effect for the terrazzo element of the project was a seamless flow. To achieve this, the resin was used as a decorative finish on both concrete and timber substrates. This resulted in a continuous transition from the resin based floor in the basement to the timber framed landing in resin, then the concrete terrazzo cantilevered stairs leading to the timber floor on ground level, also with a resin based terrazzo.
The additional challenge of the project was the production of the stair themselves, as these needed to have an identical finish to the floor. The initial solution was to mould the stairs in cement-based terrazzo and coat them in resin to match the floor. This was deemed too great a challenge as the technique for pouring resin on to vertical surfaces had not yet been perfected, although since the completion of the project further trials have been successful.
Instead, the Diespeker team decided to attempt to match the resin-based flooring with cement based terrazzo. This was cast using the same aggregate as the resin, and highly ground and polished. The resulting finish in cement reflected almost perfectly the finish of the floor in resin.
A further design feature required a complicated brass nosing detail to the treads. When each stair had been cast, Diespeker’s CNC was utilised to cut two grooves on each tread, connected at both ends with a half circle. 10 x 20mm brass strips were set into the groove as a continuous loop. The look of the impressive cantilevered stairs was enhanced by a subtle, leather wrapped handrail.
The whole endeavour required extraordinarily high production values, and impressed by the results, the client proceeded to commission three-dimensional plinths and countertops also created from the resin based terrazzo mix.
Diespeker MD, John Krause, said: “This ‘mix and match’ capacity opens up a whole new world of possibilities for our clients wanting a bespoke look for flooring, stairs and displays. Being able to match resin based and cement based terrazzo, and use resin on timber floors seamlessly with either resin or cement based terrazzo on concrete floors means we are in a position to offer almost limitless applications for flooring.
“For architects, this enables continuity in design, without having to compromise on straightforward maintenance and durability.”
The installation team was on site in Mayfair for four weeks.
Project value: £75K