The staircase dates back to the very beginning of architectural history. Virtually every significant building from the ziggurats of ancient Mesopotamia to the present day, has not only contained one or more staircases, but has celebrated them. For such an apparently simple part of a building they have been made in a bewildering variety of forms and from a wide range of materials. Every age has sought to out-perform the previous to produce ever more spectacular and gravity-defying designs.
'Staircases: History, Repair and Conservation' is the first major reference volume devoted entirely to the understanding of staircases and the issues surrounding their repair and conservation.
Each chapter has been especially written by experts in their respective fields. The book is essential reading for professionals and anyone with an interest in staircases. It deals with the history; dating; archaeology; surveying and recording; engineering; curating; repair and conservation of the staircase in a single volume. No other book offers such a wide range of detail.
The book is divided into three parts:
Part 1 covers the history, development, identification and dating of staircases, providing detailed drawings and photographs and an introduction to the scientific techniques available to enable the accurate dating of staircases.
Part 2 covers the design, engineering and maintenance of the staircase, giving a clear guide to the latest research into the design of safe staircases and their structural stability.
Part 3 focuses on the materials commonly used to make stairs, detailing the appropriate techniques for their conservation and repair.
The result is a comprehensive study encompassing considerable and far reaching research which aims to inform our understanding and advance the scholarship of the subject for years to come.