Kensington Palace Kings Grand Stair – New Handrail and Lighting

The brief for this project for Historic Royal Palaces was to install a handrail and improve the lighting within the Kings Grand Stair, which is one of the most important painted staircases in Europe.

The walls of the King’s Staircase were painted by William Kent as a vivid recreation of George I’s court. The artwork depicts a lively 18th-century court full of intriguing and unexpected characters. Kent completed the staircase paintings in 1724 which replaced rather more plain wooden panelling, which had been installed by Sir Christopher Wren. The Palace is Grade I Listed and a Scheduled Monument,

Client: Historic Royal Palaces

The design of the new steel and ebonised timber handrail, incorporating LED illumination was carefully developed in conjunction with Historic England to work with the existing panelling. The fixing system was designed to minimise the impact on the historic panelling whilst gaining support from the brickwork behind, and is reversible.

The project also involved some additional lighting to the staircase to improve safety, and some new bespoke doors to the state apartments.

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