LocationSoho, London, United Kingdom
Text description provided by the architects. A living spiral staircase with open spaces for reading, drawing, relaxing and drinking tea forms the centrepiece of a newly created workspace in London’s Soho district.
Designed by Paul Cocksedge Studio and completed this week, the unique sculptural staircase is a showcase feature of a contemporary office development by Resolution Property known as Ampersand. At 12.5-meters high, the staircase provides a dynamic connectivity between the building’s four office floors within a curvilinear atrium, embodying Ampersand’s creativity-meets-commerce brand.
Paul Cocksedge’s design removes the load-bearing pillar from the centre of a traditional staircase design and replaces it with a series of zones for relaxation, creative thinking and informal workplace interaction. Planting along the entire balustrade forms a ‘flying’ garden which can be tended by the building’s office community and there is potential for the staircase to include edible planting such as fresh mint.
On the first level of the staircase a Zettel'z 6 light designed by Ingo Maurer hangs on wires creating a place to draw or leave messages. The second staircase houses a library of source books for creative thought.
The staircase is of timber and steel construction, using Forest Stewardship Council compliant American white oak. Paul Cocksedge worked in partnership with Arup during the 13-month build programme.
Paul said: “If a staircase is essentially about going from A to B, there is now a whole world living and breathing in the space between the two. I hope the Living Staircase will be used in ways we hadn't at all expected! This is the beauty of it: it allows so much space for all kinds of activities. I'm really looking forward to Ampersand's staff taking over the structure and making it totally their own."
Designed by architects Darling Associates, Ampersand provides 64,000 sq ft of high specification office space in a substantially remodelled and refurbished Soho building, with a roof terrace and new entrances on Wardour Street and Hollen Street. Developers Resolution Property adopted a designer-led ethos in their bid to create a stimulating and unusual workplace for prospective occupiers.