Staircase Prototype in Shoreditch, New North Place, East London Office Building Photos

Office Staircase Prototype in Shoreditch

Interior Architecture in East London EC2 renewal design by ACME Architects, England

25 Oct 2017

Office Staircase Prototype

Design: ACME

Location: 2-6 New North Pl, Shoreditch, London EC2A 4HU, UK

ACME unveils staircase prototype in the London office

Office Staircase Prototype in Shoreditch

ACME has completed a staircase prototype combining modern methods of construction with an adaptive design approach, created to work with a minimum of intervention within any building. The massive timber stair was designed in 48 weeks, manufactured in four weeks and constructed in just five days, and has been installed in the architects’ own office, leading from the ground to the first floor.

Office Staircase Prototype Shoreditch

The existing building had no usable stair between floors. A hole was first cut into the first floor slab to create a connecting void. It became clear during demolition that the existing first floor concrete slabs had no further load capacity, necessitating a new approach to the stair design. Rather than relying on connections of the stair at its top and bottom, the stair is designed as a free-standing cantilever, with no connection to the floor above.

In order to reduce its carbon footprint, and to provide enough counterweight for the cantilever, the stair is made from layers of cross-laminated timber, CNC cut in Switzerland. Each of the 20 steps is made from six timber elements.

Once the interlocking pieces for one step are assembled, they are simply fixed with screws to the step below. The stair was designed to be self-supporting during assembly, to ensure it can be build without scaffolding or temporary works, and all elements were designed to be light enough to be assembled directly by the designers.

The bifurcating twin spiral form of the staircase serves a number of functions. The shape creates its own structural integrity, the bifurcation allows people to make destination choices on the stair, the widening of the stair provided a place to stop and converse, and the inward rake of the upper steps provides stability and functions as a handrail.

In order to keep the cost of the stair low, the shape and the resulting timber cutting list was carefully optimized to achieve minimum cutting wastage. Inspired by Coco Chanel’s mirror stair in 31 Rue Cambon in Paris that enabled anyone perched at the top to observe the comings and goings on all levels of her atelier, two sides of the stair have been clad in mirrors to ensure the link is a visual as well as physical link.

Friedrich Ludewig, Director, ACME, said: “The stair is a prototype to show how very humble elements of solid timber, simply fixed together, can form an interesting sculptural solution to the everyday task of going up and down, and solve a complex structural problem with an intelligently engineered solutions and an interesting use of timber technology. Simple structures can be simultaneously beautiful, economical and practical, and help to create inspiring spaces in which to live and work.”

Office Staircase Prototype in Shoreditch – Building Information

Location: Shoreditch, London
Architect: ACME
Structure: AKT II
Timber: Blumer Lehmann
Date: 2017
Status: Built SIZE: 6sqm
Budget: £26,000
ACME Team: Friedrich Ludewig, Eleni Meladaki, Sara Poza, Jan Saggau

Office Staircase Prototype in Shoreditch

Photography: Ed Reeve

Office Staircase Prototype in Shoreditch images / information received 251017

ACME Architects London

Phone: 020 7998 6319

Location: 2-6 New North Pl, Shoreditch, East London, EC2A 4HU, England, UK

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Website: ACME