Villa Wippermann in Halver, Germany is an old factory owner’s beautiful villa, originally belonging to the Wippermann family, built back in 1892. The old villa was renovated to serve as a regional museum and a cultural meeting place. The fire protection and heritage conservation requirements, in particular, presented a demanding challenge to the planners of the escape routes and escape staircases. Space-saving design was required, while creating a staircase system without any additional connection to the building (no transfer of forces into the historical building structure). The architectural appearance of the building also had to be preserved in the best possible way, and safe use by visitors had to be guaranteed in the event of an emergency.
The client, City of Halver, involved experts, architects and engineers in the make-over of the museum. The project had a significant focus on safety in case of fire or other events that need safe evacuation. The parties involved required a spiral staircase as a fire escape solution, to be installed without causing any damage to the building.
The engineer and architect were both very aware of the fact that various environmental conditions such as wind and vibrations can cause too much load, leading to damage to the building.
As stated in the project criteria, the architectural heritage of the building had to be preserved. This called for a safe but well-designed spiral staircase, fitting into the environment and to the unique architecture of the building and maintaining the appealing aesthetics of the Villa Wippermann museum.
Based on these project criteria, PcP delivered a proposal that presented a safe and secure spiral staircase for the museum. The project architects and the planners from the building and heritage authorities accepted the proposal.
A complete spiral staircase system was designed and tailor-made to support the unique criteria of the project. A large steel pipe at the centre of the staircase provided solid support to the entire structure. A slim handrail system followed the spiral shape of the staircase. All details and products were made of galvanised steel, matching the architectural and aesthetical look of the building. The staircase links the historical building together with modern architecture.
The staircase was designed by PcP and manufactured using modern industrial production methods, combined with handmade finishes and details.
The PcP OPTIMO® O3 spiral treads and gratings were used for treads and landings, providing safety in terms of optimal slip resistance, capacity and fire proofing. The high and certified slip resistance according to evaluation group R13/V10 and the limited views below allow even people with a fear of heights to walk safely. The surface of OPTIMO® O3 flooring delivers the very best drainage of liquids.
As a result of the strong collaboration between architects, structural engineers and planners from heritage protection and fire protection, a safe, solid and aesthetically pleasing spiral staircase now compliments the museum.
Today, Villa Wippermann museum stands as a harmonious building with a perfect balance between modern and old architecture in beautiful surroundings.
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