Boldly curved and cantilevered into midair, these plant-wrapped stairs are designed to provide more than just a means of moving from one floor to another.
Stepping onto them takes occupants temporarily away from concrete floors and columns, then into and through a unique miniature ecosystem of warm and living materials.
This staircase by Paul Cocksedge for the Ampersand building in London is punctuated by platforms overlooking a central atrium.
These circular areas act as impromptu self-contained break and gathering spaces removed from the bustle of each main office floor.
Standing out not just physically but also materially, the lively-grained wooden curves are bedecked with thin stem-like strands of white metal. In turn, these support planters that supplant the role of traditional hand rails while still providing physical and psychological safety and support.
Each set of stairs is supported by the floors themselves, thus rendered structurally independent of a more ordinary central-column approach.
Further interactivity is woven into the biological side of the design in the form of herbs that employees can nurture, grow and ultimately pluck from the rails, facilitating a sort of in-office garden and adding a bit of mint to their tea or spice to their lunch.