Grand staircase being built in Rotterdam

stairs from bottom
© MVRDV via Designboom

Your vertical transportation correspondent took a lot of heat from readers recently for calling Montreal's iconic twisty stairs "deathtraps." I was actually being facetious; at TreeHugger we are big fans of stairs as a carbon-free way of getting people up and down while keeping them fit.

So of course we love this giant stair being built up the side of a building in Rotterdam by MVRDV. It will certainly help people keep fit, at 95 feet from bottom to top. Once they make it up there, they can watch a movie in the Kriterion Theater that has been closed for years; From the press release:

“I used to see Rotterdam from the Kriterion after the films and it gave an fantastic overview of the city” explains Winy Maas, co-founder of MVRDV. “The roof of the Groot Handelsgebouw, one of the best buildings of the reconstruction of the Netherlands, deserves to be used as a base for the next intensification of Rotterdam. The Stairs suggest that.”

Both the allies and the Germans did their best to bomb Rotterdam flat in World War II; the damage was so extensive that they decided to clear their plate and start over. The Groothandelsgebouw was one of the first major buildings built during the reconstruction, a massive office building modeled after Chicago's Merchandise Mart. This stair honors the 75th anniversary of the start of the reconstruction.

This version is temporary, built on scaffolds, but this might change;

"The Stairs aim to animate the rooftop and to imagine a second layer in the next step of Rotterdam’s urban planning. A second reconstruction." Tells Winy Maas. "It would be good to make it a permanent fixture."

More in Designboom

Grand staircase being built in Rotterdam
And when you get to the top of this, you deserve a treat.

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