Selected from a pool of over 220 entries, the winners of the second edition of the EeStairs Design Competition have been announced. The competition challenged entrants to trace the evolution of the staircase, designing a staircase to inspire a workspace, or a balustrade that was the perfect balance of functionality and style.
A team of architecture students from Warsaw University of Technology in Poland, with the team name ‘4A Four Architects’ entry, Möbius, has won the Corporate Staircase category. German industrial designer, Cornelius Comanns’ design, Sine, has beaten numerous stellar entries in order to be crowned the winner of the Repeatable Balustrade category.
The prize giving ceremony was held at the citizenM hotel in Rotterdam, which features a bespoke statement staircase by EeStairs. In attendance were shortlisted designers from as far afield as the USA and Armenia, in addition to representatives from the Dutch staircase manufacturers who organised the competition.
"4A Four Architects Möbius design is a physical representation of the interconnectivity that must exist in a workplace," explains Cornelis van Vlastuin, Creative Director of EeStairs. "Although colleagues are often separated physically over different floors in the workplace, creating a feature to draw them together can be the perfect way to develop a team atmosphere. With no beginning and no end the Möbius staircase represents the fluidity of the workforce and how they must all come together for the business to flourish.”
The design allows users to connect with each other by making eye contact from any point on the stair, becoming a sculptural element demanding attention and inviting you to explore the upper floors.
"The Sine balustrade, by Cornelius Comanns, captures the essence of a Repeatable Balustrade - it is both feasible to manufacture and uncompromisingly stylish. As users walk past the balustrade the shapes change gracefully, moving almost like ripples in the water. Put simply, it is beautiful."
The design features rows of twisted bars, which create the visual appearance of a complex wavey surface, an effect that could otherwise only be produced with considerable effort.
Students and young designers from around the world submitted their designs, before the judging panel then whittled down the entries to create a shortlist of three nominees in each category. The judging panel was comprised of professionals from the worlds of architecture, product design and media and included:
Sean Hatcher, Design Director of MCM Architecture
Armin Ganguly-Hiebert, Director at Ganguly Architects
Joe Stuart, Senior Design Engineer & Project Manger at graze.com
Amy Frearson, Deputy Editor of Dezeen
Geoff Packer, Designer at EeStairs
The judges of the competition were extremely impressed with the designs. Armin Ganguly-Hiebert, founder of Ganguly Architects, who was on the competitions judging panel said: "I was very pleased by the overall high standard and quality of inspirational works produced by the talented designers. It was exciting to see designs pushing the limits and providing original and fresh new solutions for corporate staircases and particularly innovative solutions for repeatable balustrade designs. As a judge it was a big challenge deciding which design should be successful in reaching the final. I am very happy with the shortlisted final nominated designs and would like to say thank you to all the students and young designers involved in the competition."
Following the judges shortlist the EeStairs Design Competition was opened up to a public vote where people could choose their favourite design. The judges scores and the public vote were then combined to reveal the winner.
Cornelis van Vlastuin adds: “For us it is vital to open the competition to a public vote, after all, architecture and design make up the environment all around us and should be full of features to inspire and be enjoyed.”
Each of the winners will receive a £2,000 cash prize and the runners up will receive a £100 consolation prize. All of the nominees will enjoy a trip to the Netherlands, which includes a tour of EeStairs headquarters in Barneveld.
View all of the nominees and learn more about the winning projects, here.