Doglegs

The dog-leg pattern is ideal for doublefronted variations (Figure 4.2 c). It is also the basis of the 'London' plan that dates back to the 1660s.2 This 'Universal' layout (Figure 4.3a) places dog-leg flights at the rear of the house so that all rooms are accessed from the common stairs. Variations in storey heights are accommodated by lengthening or by the use of winders. The ground floor usually has extended steps towards the entry passage,

Figure 4.3b Turning stairs to improve a hallway. Reddington Road, 1870s, Architect: Philip Webb
Figure 4.4 Standard Danish Stair installed in the 'Marchesi' system built house (1981)

with the basement route neatly tucked in below. The visual aspect is comely, the best historic examples are probably the seventeenth-century pieces, constructed from oak, that still exist in the Inns of

Figure 4.5 Benn Levy House, Chelsea, 1935-6, Architects: Gropius and Fry

Court. Further consideration of stone and iron versions are given in Chapter 9.

Replacing the half landings with winders can reduce the floor opening to 1 800 mm x 1 600 mm (Figure 4.4). The area saved is added to the circulation space and ensures a wider range of options for locating doorways at all floor levels. Furniture handling on dog-leg stairs is not a problem provided that newel posts have been terminated close to the balustrade line. Similar stairs built within storey-height balustrades create insoluble problems for furniture removal. Another problem area is 'scissors' type stairs constructed within masonry shells, a popular method from the 1960s and 1970s for maisonettes in public housing. The central spine wall needs to be scalloped either end to give a turning circle for handling bulky furniture (Figure 4.6).

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