As the house is built on a hill, the stair is an important part of the design. It is the visual focus of the home and links the new and old buildings. The glazed ceiling above provides glimpses up to the sky and trees that makes the house feel bigger. We suggested that the stair, designed by a specialist, might be painted an interesting colour to contrast with the black cladding and, like many things in the house, we were surprised that the clients were brave enough to try it. In a house that had to be restrained on the outside for planning reasons, inside it is an element of surprise and delight.