Bare Steel Mono-Stringer Staircase and Cable Railing – Philadelphia, PA

Commercial floating stairs with clear matte coated steel

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Builder: Dave Heckler — Philadelphia, PA

Architect: Kelly Brennan and Karen Dellaporta of Baglivo Associates — East Norrinton, PA

Material and Finish: This staircase has reclaimed padauk wood treads and a single steel stringer. The stringer, steel railing posts, cable, top rail, and handrail all have a clear matte coat.

Description: A custom mono-stringer staircase with reclaimed wood treads. The staircase features a cable railing system with steel posts and a steel handrail with clear matte coating.


Watchdog, a real estate management company with offices on the East and West Coasts, wanted to remodel the entrance interior at its Philadelphia headquarters. Before the redesign, the building had a traditional staircase that led up to a room with another stairway, this one a metal spiral staircase. The architect decided to open up this space and build a single floating staircase.

The company wanted its office to maintain its unpolished, natural style. To create a cohesive look, we took inspiration from the distressed timber columns around the workspace. We designed a mono-stringer staircase with open risers and an Ithaca Style cable railing system. The stair treads are made of reclaimed padauk wood that once served as support beams in a factory. The steel used for the cable railing and stair stringer has a clear matte coating. This matte finish protects the metal while preserving the natural, straight-from-the-mill appearance of the steel. The bare steel handrail, which has visible shifts in the color, ends in a gentle curve toward the ground.

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Custom mono-stringer staircase with reclaimed wood treads and clear matte coated steel stringer and railing. Reclaimed padauk wood and steel mono-stringer staircase. Close-up view of industrial staircase. Underside of mono-stringer natural steel staircase.