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Structural Awards: The Latest Architecture and News

See The Engineering Behind This Floating, Award-Winning Stone Helical Stair

14:00 - 22 November, 2016
See The Engineering Behind This Floating, Award-Winning Stone Helical Stair, © Agnese Sanvito
© Agnese Sanvito

Helical staircases are often designed to be show-stoppers, focal points of architectural spaces that are intended to impress. But even compared to its eye-catching peers, this staircase developed by Webb Yates Engineers and The Stonemasonry Company is unusually audacious. Developed for a residential design by RAL Architects in Formby, UK, each step of the two-story, 4.6-meter diameter helical staircase is composed of an individual block of stone, giving an impression of weightlessness as the structure circles its way up through the building's atrium towards the glazed roof above. For their efforts, Webb Yates recently won the Award for Small Projects at the Institution of Structural Engineers' 2016 Structural Awards, whose judges said that they were "amazed by the grace and audacity" of the design. Read on to find out how Webb Yates achieved this feat of engineering.

© Agnese Sanvito © Agnese Sanvito © Agnese Sanvito Courtesy of Webb Yates Engineers + 17