Ampersand Building London, Living Staircase Soho, Commercial Property Refurbishment

‘Living’ Staircase : Ampersand Building

Soho Building Renewal design by Paul Cocksedge / Darling Associates, London, England, UK

6 Nov 2013

‘Living’ Staircase at Ampersand Building

Staircase in Ampersand Building, Soho

Design: Paul Cocksedge, Designer / Darling Associates, Architects

Programme: high spec offices and luxury residential

64,000 sqft of Grade A Soho office space – opening in Autumn 2014 at 180 Wardour Street, W1


‘Living’ staircase acts as central feature in Ampersand building

6th November 2013 – British designer Paul Cocksedge has unveiled one of his most innovative architectural installations to date, a ‘living’ spiral staircase with integral social spaces and a working garden.

The staircase acts as the central feature in a contemporary office and residential development by Resolution Property, known as Ampersand, which is located in the heart of London’s Soho.

Living Staircase Ampersand Building London Living Staircase Ampersand Building London Living Staircase Ampersand Building London Living Staircase Ampersand Building London
images from designer

By removing the load-bearing pillar from the centre of a traditional staircase design, Paul Cocksedge has created a series of hidden spaces at the centre of the wooden spiral structure, each devoted to its own specific activity, like reading, drawing or picking fresh mint for tea. Plants along the balustrade are not merely for decoration but are intended to be a working garden, each plant being tended to by individual members of the building’s community.

Every element of the staircase is designed to relate to the people using it, providing a dynamic centrepiece for the Ampersand scheme, which is being developed for creative sector occupiers who wish to foster a culture of innovation and collaboration.

Paul Cocksedge said: “The Living Staircase is actually a combination of staircase and room, of movement and stillness, vertical and horizontal. At every turn there is an opportunity to stop and look, smell, read, write, talk, meet, think, and rest. 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.’

Paul Cocksedge is renowned for his visually spectacular and technically ingenious projects which feature spatial and architectural installations. He is also recognised for developing solutions for amplifying sound and lighting. He and his studio have delivered projects in a wide range of business contexts, with clients including the V&A, BMW, Hermès, Sony and 100%design.

Robert Wolstenholme of Resolution Property, developing Ampersand for owner Peterson HK, commissioned the piece. He said: “Paul is the latest top designer to help us achieve our goal of creating a connection between creativity and commerce. His installation will help create an environment at Ampersand that attracts Soho’s thriving creative, technology and media sector businesses.

“The unveiling of the design for the ‘living’ staircase follows the completion in September of a giant public artwork by designer Tom Hingston that will shroud Ampersand during construction.”

Architects Darling Associates have been responsible for the comprehensive refurbishment of high spec offices and luxury residential units at Ampersand, which is scheduled for completion in autumn 2014.

Paul Cocksedge Studio is working in partnership with Arup.

‘Living’ Staircase : Ampersand Building London images / information received 061113

Address: 180 Wardour Street, soho, central London

Soho Buildings

Darling Associates

Location: 180 Wardour Street, London, England, UK

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