Mind-Blowing Stairs Mix Digital Fabrication with Artisanal Approach

© Alex Haw / Atmos Studio

Stairs may serve a utilitarian purpose, but this breath-taking set of treads by UK-based Atmos Studio takes it to new heights. Designed as part of a residential project, the stairs seem to come alive as it turns the corner, unravelling sculptural elements that organically encase and animate the transitional space.

© Alex Haw / Atmos Studio

© James Taylor

© Alex Haw / Atmos Studio

Correspondingly, the underside is not left untouched either: in the bathroom below, the curves of the stair register within the ceiling, forming a curvaceous grotto.

© James Taylor

© Alex Haw / Atmos Studio

Though it seems like it was carved by hand, the stair was actually created through digital tools and CNC fabrication, using engineered and hard wood material and a flat-pack approach:

These stairs for a residential project took us in an important new direction, harnessing digital production and fabrication to form a seamless and deeply sculptural experience.

The stair was entirely digitally fabricated using an intricate set of simply-cut but highly-detailed flat-pack elements, CNC-carving sheets of MDF and oak directly from our drawings, engraving depths to further split structural strands into ever-finer lineaments, producing elements that perfectly slot together like an architectural jigsaw. The pieces assemble into a highly-articulated, economic and sculptural 3-dimensional space that appears to be constantly changing as one travels through it.

© Alex Haw / Atmos Studio

© Alex Haw / Atmos Studio

Though it may seem paradoxical, we've discussed before how digital fabrication is set to democratize and diversify the design, manufacturing and distribution process in the coming years. Call it "mass customization": mix all that with talented designers and an artisanal approach, and we may be seeing more amazing works of architectural art such as this in the future.

© Alex Haw / Atmos Studio

More images over at Atmos Studio.

Tags: Architects | Architecture | Downloadable Design

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