British designer Paul Cocksedge has envisioned an ambitious staircase scheme for the new offices of Ampersand in Soho, London. The team was approached by Resolution Property to create a focus piece for the commercial scheme; they responded with a truly interactive stairway which encourages social behaviour and active movement between floors.
In removing the central load-bearing pillar found in traditional staircase design, Cocksedge has been able to accommodate a number of accessible platforms which could be used for a variety of social activities, quiet contemplation or informal meetings.
The design also incorporates a variety of plants within the balustrade which can be picked by the employees to use in teas and lunches. This working garden helps promote attitudes towards healthy living, as does using a staircase rather than a lift, and also encourages employees to work together to tend the plants.
“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.”