The Endless Stair, inspired by Escher’s drawings, will be installed in front of Tate Modern, Bankside. The sculpture-stair required a deep research on wood to allow public on it.
The Endless Stair, landmark project for this year’s London Design Festival, will be sited on the lawn in front of the world-renowned Tate Modern.
Professor Alex de Rijke, director of dRMM, the architects leading the design for the structure, said, “Endless Stair is a temporary sculpture designed to be endlessly reconfigured. After initially considering a site at St Paul’s Cathedral, the London Design Festival team has decided the best location for the Stair’s debut is outside Tate Modern, Bankside.”
The construction of the Endless Stair, which will be the first-ever such structure to use American tulipwood cross-laminated timber (CLT), is now progressing in Italy and Switzerland. The project, which was conceived in January 2013, is pushing the boundaries of hardwood in construction. Starting from a fantasy Escher-inspired drawing utilising, for the first time, tulipwood cross-laminated timber (CLT), dRMM and Arup have worked with specialist teams in Italy and Switzerland to research and test the strength of the material and develop the design to allow public access to the structure.
The staircase will be closed at dusk each day. By night, the installation will be artistically bathed in light, evolving into an intriguing piece of art for passers-by to enjoy. The lighting scheme, designed by Seam Design, promotes various interactions within the structure by enhancing the juxtaposition and relationship between the surface/solid, solid/void and disorientation/configuration through the use of carefully placed and aimed luminaires provided by Lumenpulse. The lighting controls and sequencing will enhance particular features to express these contrasts creating an interactive play between the physical structure and the ephemeral nature of light.
dRMM is a London-based studio of architects and designers, founded in 1995 by Alex de Rijke, Philip Marsh and Sadie Morgan.
13 September – 10 October
riverside of Tate Modern, Bankside
Design: dRMM Architects – timber studio, ARUP Engineering Structures, Material and Fire Specialists
Client: London Design Festival
CLT production: Imola Legno
Lighting Designer: SEAM