Laser cutting helps to renovate old piano factory

June 2, 2017
Ambigram Architects commissioned Cutting Technologies to laser-cut several balustrades for the building's main communal staircase.

Cutting Technologies (Cut Tec; Barnsley, Yorkshire, England), which specializes in laser cutting and engraving, participated in the renovation of an old piano factory in London. The factory has been converted into 15 residential apartments, with the whole interior of the building being remodeled and the exterior repaired.

The project was led by Ambigram Architects (London), which commissioned Cutting Technologies to laser-cut several balustrades, transforming the building's main communal staircase.

The laser-cut balustrades in the converted piano factory. (Courtesy: Ambigram Architects)

Using 3mm mild steel, the staircase design follows that of floating treads cantilevering from the wall—the aim of the laser-cut balustrades is to create something eye-catching while adhering to building regulations. Using advanced digital design techniques, a gradient pattern of perforations across the balustrades was created, following the sawtooth profile of the floating tread of the staircase without ever touching them.

"Our client wanted a beautiful bespoke staircase, so laser cutting was the obvious choice for this project—it allowed us to create a unique design as well as control over the accuracy of the cutting," says Andries Kruger, director at Ambigram Architects.

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