We were approached at the beginning of 2007 by Reinhold Geiger of Balustrade & Glass Studio. Haefele South Africa (Pty) Ltd is a German company, which engages in the distribution of hardware on an international basis. They needed a staircase for their new head quarters in Honeydew, Gauteng. Reinhold Geiger recommended Steven for the design and manufacture of this staircase, as we had previously done 3 similar - albeit much smaller projects - of this nature, together.

Once the material came from laser-cutting, it took 2 days to assemble the staircase in the factory. The installation took us 3 days. The staircase has a minimum amount of welding. Where joining of lengths was required, old-fashioned cabinetmakers' dovetail joints were used. In a sense, once all the components were bent up, joining the pieces became a 3-dimensional puzzle. Tabs were inserted into slots, and 16mm round bar was used to secure treads and risers.

In 2008, we entered this staircase in the SASSDA awards, and Steven was awarded a Merit Award in the "Project Category – Design & Manufacture of Haefele staircase". Although the architect had drawn a design for the staircase, Haefele's management did not need much convincing to go with Steven's idea. Steven proposed a stainless steel framework, which would have wooden treads and stainless balustrades. The feel was to be ultra-modern, light and "floating". It would be laser-cut from 3mm and 4.5mm flat sheet, Grade 304 stainless steel sheet.




24 October 2012
At the Awards ceremony held last night at the Theatre on the Track at Kyalami, artist Marco Cianfanelli and Steven Roger-Lund of ArgoWeld cc, proved to be an unbeatable combination! For the design & manufacture of The Minds' Vine sculpture at Tokara Wine Estate in Stellenbosch, Marco and Steven won the Art Project Category, Best Stainless Steel Project 2012. For the design and manufacture of the "Inner City, the City within" sunscreen at Absa Towers West in Marshalltown, Johannesburg, Steven and Marco were awarded the Winner – Architecture Project Category, Best Stainless Steel Project 2012.

1. Art in stainless steel: "The Mind's Vine"

Conceptualised in 2007, The Mind's Vine is another Marco Cianfanelli creation, depicting four vine trees, whose branches are adorned with words: words that talk about wine, the history of wine, the growing conditions of wine, the sensory perceptions associated with wine, and the history of the Tokara Wine Estate, where this sculpture graces the front entrance. As a result of the awesome manufacturing skills displayed during the build of The Pivot, Steven Roger-Lund was asked to be involved in this long overdue sculpture. This sculpture is a laser-cut creation, and is fabricated in 4.5 and 6mm Gr.304 stainless steel sheet metal. The contoured plates are connected via 10mm round bar pins. The sculpture stands 3.6m high, and the canti-levered crown has a width of 9.4m. It weighs 2200kg, and is stabilized by a large mild steel footing, which is concreted into the ground. The sculpture invites viewers to walk under and through the trees, and to contemplate the different aspects of wine, as well as to appreciate the exquisite physical contrast of the stainless steel with the blue sky on a sunny day; on a grey wintry day, the stainless steel blends in with the pervading feeling of a winter vineyard. At night, the stainless steel creates an inviting and mysterious ambience due to well-placed lights, that illuminate the trees from within.

The manufacturing skill lay in the precise planning of the assembly of this piece. Superb tig-welding created small seams and timber-like birds-eyes, that imitate real vine-stems. Of course the precision of the laser-cutting process was a fundamental requirement in the manufacturing process.

The sculpture was manufactured in 8 parts, loaded onto a low-bed trailer, and transported to Stellenbosch by road. The fabrication was a giant jigsaw puzzle, and took about three and a half weeks to complete. Installation took one and a half days, and on 14 April 2012, The Mind's Vine became reality.


2. Art in stainless steel: "Inner city, the city within"

Well-known South African artist, Marco Cianfanelli, was tasked to turn a huge sunscreen into an artwork for Absa's new West Tower building in Marshall Street, Johannesburg. The idea was to bring the view through the 33 x 17m window onto a stainless steel canvas inside the building. Marco's idea was to create a pixel-like picture by using laser-cut holes in different sizes –about 235000 of them!

It then became Steven Roger-Lund's' task to create a "stainless steel photograph".

First, he had to devise a bracket system that would be fastened to the 8x catwalks in front of this window. This primary bracket system would allow him to mount 706x stainless steel panels. The brackets were fabricated in 6mm s/s, and they carry 32mm s/s square tubing, which the secondary bracket system uses as support.

The brief from the artist added a few more challenges: firstly, the panels came in three sizes, but they would also be mounted at three different depths! This required a secondary bracket system which would connect the panels with each other much like a patchwork quilt.

The stainless steel panels were made in 0.7mm Grade 304 stainless steel, brushed on both sides, laser-cut with the required holes, and bent into trays. The connecting brackets were cut in 1.5mm s/s, and brackets were cut in 1.2mm s/s to strengthen all corners of the trays where trays were bolted to each other. About 16000 stainless steel nuts and bolts were required to create this 8-storey high tapestry!

From a manufacturing point of view, this project was very simple. It was however a major challenge from a design and installation perspective. The preparation of the panels and all the brackets was simple once the design was mastered. Physically hoisting multiple panels into the air and getting all panels into their correct position required meticulous planning and discipline.

Working on a large building site proved to be the biggest obstacle of all in terms of access, and as a result, a job that should have taken 7 working days on site, took twice as long.

This project engaged Steven Roger-Lund and his crew from October to November 2010.



Sector: Architecture, building and construction

Argoweld was the first runner up for designing an innovative and uncompromisingly brilliant spiral staircase, using stainless steel to create a fully functional and aesthetic masterpiece.

A luxurious setting called for luxurious design facilitation in stainless steel when Argoweld was approached  by Karel Keuler Architects to assist with the design and manufacture of a spiral staircase to link two upmarket Sandton apartments.

Uncompromising excellence of the technical design featured a fully laser-cut process of precision fabrication and a unique styling of the hollow centre column and crown. This design required 2600kg of stainless steel parts to be transported and assembled in parts, into precise positioning for execution of the installation. Stainless steel cabling was then fixed vertically to create the encasement of the stairwell. With such emphasis on attention to detail and accuracy, Argoweld’s Steve Roger-Lund was able to install the spiral staircase in just four days.