A typical spiral staircase winds around a newel and has a handrail on the outer side only, and a central pole on the inner side. Unlike any ordinary spiral staircase, architect Paul Cocksedge‘s staircase design is highly innovative, interactive and full of life. The ‘Living Staircase’ was designed as a central feature for the new office development Ampersand in London’s Soho area. The massive staircase eliminates the traditional, load-bearing pillar at its centre, opening up additional space in the design. The staircase has hidden rooms at each landing: a library, a garden and a meeting room encouraging social interactions amongst employees working in the various creative organizations within the building.
“The ‘Living Staircase’ is actually a combination of a staircase and room, of movement and stillness, vertical and horizontal” explains Paul Cocksedge. “At every turn, there is an opportunity to stop and look, smell, read, write, talk, meet, think and rest. If a staircase is essentially about going from point A to point B, there is now a whole world living and breathing in the space between the two.”