The Living Staircase, Project: Ampersand, London
A living spiral staircase with open landings for reading, drawing and drinking tea and topped with an integral herb garden relaxing forms the centrepiece of a workspace in London’s Soho district.
The unique sculptural staircase is 12.5-meters high and provides a dynamic connectivity between the building’s four office floors within a curvilinear atrium.
Paul Cocksedge’s design removes the load-bearing pillar from the centre of a traditional staircase design and replaces it with a series of zones for relaxation, creative thinking and informal workplace interaction. Planting along the entire balustrade forms a ‘flying’ garden which can be tended by the building’s office community and there is potential for the staircase to include edible planting such as fresh mint.
Paul Cocksedge adds: ‘The Living Staircase is actually a combination of staircase and room, of movement and stillness, vertical and horizontal’, Paul Cocksedge explains. ‘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.’
Photography: Mark Cocksedge