Balustrade & Staircase

Completion Date



Tensile Cables and Scotchworx Carpentry collaborated on a beautiful and unique installation at the new apartments The Lofts in Tokai, Cape Town. The client, Michael Anderson of O La La Interiors was renovating the 70m2 studio loft apartment, and wanted a more elegant solution for the staircase and landing balustrades which overpowered the space.
The existing black steel balustrading was harsh, and broke up the available space. Anderson had the existing wood stairs stripped to their natural yellow wood colouring and installed a screen of matching vertical wooded panels to provide security on the upper level. The steel staircase balustrade was removed, and it was here that Tensile Cables was able to provide a cable solution that opened up the apartment space while still meeting SANS building regulations.
Robert McKendrick from Scotchworx was on site to install twenty seven vertical stainless steel cables – three per stair – reaching from stair to ceiling at less than 100mm apart to meet regulation. Although already an incomparable minimalist option versus the old balustrade, Scotchworx ensured no more steel was showing than necessary. Steel plates were fixed to the underside of the wooden stair panels for stability. Tensioners were then fixed under each stair panel so that the cables could be tensioned invisibly from below, reaching up and disappearing into the ceiling.
Although, this solution was chosen for its aesthetically pleasing quality, it was also cost effective as there was no need for horizontal steel through the balustrade, or to install vertical steel posts.
Both Scotchworx and Tensile Cables were thrilled to have been involved in such a unique project. McKendrick described how at the completion of the project, he stood back and was in awe as to the beauty of the outcome. The result was an expansion of space as ground floor, staircase and upper level opened out into one another, elegantly divided by permeable vertical screens of wood and cable.