endless stair by dRMM at london design festival 2013
endless stair by dRMM at london design festival 2013 endless stair by dRMM at london design festival 2013
aug 22, 2013

endless stair by dRMM at london design festival 2013

endless stair by dRMM at london design festival 2013
image courtesy of dRMM / cityscape




when we think of a staircase, we think of an inclined walkway composed of treads, vertically connecting the various levels of a building–an area of transition in architecture. the endless compositional and social possibilities of these structures is what has driven UK-based firm dRMM to explore their potential in the form of ‘endless stair’. the temporary sculpture has been realized as a series of single staircases which can be interlocked with one another–a three-dimensional exercise in framework, composition and scale; sometimes leading nowhere, often leading somewhere. each component of this pre-fabricated construction plays an important role in the additive system and is easily demountable, so that it can be set-up on another site.


‘endless stair’ dRMM’s escher-styled sculptural installation
image courtesy of the american hardwood export council




the project is sponsored by the american hardwood export council, and will be built from 11.4 tonnes of unwasted, sustainable tulipwood, in this instance, composed as cross-laminated timber for the first time, providing an extraordinary strength to weight ratio. in its entirety, the combined length of all panels in ‘endless stair’ will measure 436m, and be composed of a total of 187 steps, the shortest route up to the highest point being a trek of 48 steps. it is estimated that the structure will be able to hold up to 93 people at one time.


drawing on the influences of the drawings of M.C. escher’s often impossible constructions, ‘endless stair’ will be installed in front of the tate modern during london design festival 2013, from september 13th – october 10th, 2013.


model depicting the interlocking components
image courtesy of dRMM


the additive structure offers a number of configurations
image courtesy of dRMM


top view of a possible configuration
image courtesy of dRMM


individual structural units
image courtesy of dRMM


piecing parts together
image courtesy of dRMM



project credits:


client: london design festival
design: dRMM architects – timber studio, ARUP engineering structures, material and fire specialists
sponsor: american hardwood export council (AHEC)
contractor: nüssli
CLT production: imola legno
lighting designer: SEAM
lighting: lumenpulse
model images: dRMM architects with thanks to the city of london corporation, st. paul’s cathedral

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    architecture news

    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    492,111 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample