London terrazzo expert, Diespeker & Co achieved innovative design solutions for flooring and stairs during the refurbishment of a Mayfair boutique for fashion brand J&M Davidson.
Working with project architects Barber and Osgerby’s Universal Design Studio, Diespeker developed new skills to achieve 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 an unbroken flow. To realise this, the resin was used as a decorative finish on both concrete and timber substrates. This resulted in a smooth 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 making of the stairs 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. However, the technique for pouring resin on to vertical surfaces was deemed too great a challenge at this juncture – although the technique has since been perfected.
Instead, the Diespeker team strove to match a pure cement based terrazzo with the resin-based flooring, a first for the company. The stairs were 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 cutting machine 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 entire endeavour required the highest production values. Impressed by the results, the client then commissioned three-dimensional plinths and countertops also created from the resin based terrazzo mix. The installation team was on site in Mayfair for four weeks.
Diespeker MD, John Krause, said: “This ‘mix and match’ capacity has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for clients desiring a bespoke look for flooring, stairs and displays; the ability 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.”