Stairs may be a utilitarian thing, but that doesn't mean they have to look boring. Case in point is this fluid beauty of a stair by London-based Atmos Studio (previously), created as centrepiece for a recently opened restaurant in town.
Dubbed StairStalk, the sinuous staircase winds its way up from the restaurant's basement bar to the ground and upper floor dining areas, connecting the three-level space. The overall design of the restaurant's interior and exterior was done by These White Walls and Lusted Green, while Atmos Studio was commissioned to do the stair. Conceived as an organic form, the stair seems to emerge out of a "seed" in the basement, unfurling like a massive tree that blends in with the space. As the studio says:
The entire stair curls and cantilevers out from a sculptural helical inner stringer – a carefully carved and highly articulated bundle of nature-like fibres which continuously curve and wind upwards through the void, their strands individually unfurling into each upper branch and inner tread.
It twists upwards, spiralling energetically like a corkscrew, steps unfurling seamlessly from the structural stem like leaves, while further branches similarly delaminate to form a delicate wavy balustrade guiding the guests carefully upwards.
To support its weight without touching the walls, the stair is constructed around a concealed core made of steel and plywood. Steel plates have been hidden in the wooden treads to provide extra structural support.
The components were fabricated in a specialized process that was inspired by traditional bentwood fabrication techniques, taking many thin layers of wood and laminating them into these customized forms, which seems almost animated with a life of its own, thanks to the visually interesting tendrils that swirl and alight, connecting base with the handrail.