Amazing Bespoke Red Hot perforated steel suspended staircase by Diapo
The muse for this staircase is a recent installation by Do Ho Suh at the Tate Modern Gallery titled “Staircase III”. Staircase III is a short flight of 12 steps that starts in the air and ends at the ceiling of the Tate Gallery. Actually only sculptural and not functional, the staircase is created with a transparent gable and a thin row of steps. The bright red of Suh’s phantasy flight is poetic and inspiring, so it’s no wonder the client made a wish. Floating stairs referring to the Do Ho Suh art installation. The final result of Diapo is a work of art in itself.
The specifications required that the custom design be created for a two-level property for accessing the second level. The request was for a staircase suspended from the upper level with no visible structural support, and because they loved the Do Ho Suh creation so much, they wanted the finish to have a similar red used in its installation.
The first thing that needed to be decided was the choice of material. It had to be light and extremely robust. It took some transparency to account for the gossamer appeal of the Do Ho Suh play, and it had to have a sculptural aesthetic.
The material of choice became a perforated steel mesh whose perforations were laser cut for a perfectly accurate repetition of the pattern. The perforations would serve purposes. They would provide the transparent effect – allowing the stair user or viewer the ability to see through the structure, and the perforations would also reduce the overall weight of the steel net structure. The lightweight fabric allowed the prefabricated staircase to be built as a single unit and before being hung in a location of steel girders hidden above the ceiling within the beams of the second floor.
5 × 4 meters of perforated steel plates were used to create a seamless transition between treads, risers and balustrade. The treads and risers use a continuous sheet of perforated and folded 5 mm sheet steel running the full length of the stairwell.
This barrel is then mounted on a vertical perforated balustrade that serves as the hanging support as well as the staircase stringer. The lateral loading of the stairs is deflected by a combination of plate bending and membrane action. These two structural features create tension forces in the balustrade, which are then transmitted to the steel beams hidden in the ceiling.
The lightweight structure has been designed to sound structural, but a light in the perception, the lack of a visible support system and the bold use of cadmium red give the staircase a unique artistic quality that attracts attention without being obtrusive.
The curved steel mesh used to create the structure gives the design a rhythmic and structural quality that you want to reach and touch.
While the undersides of most stairs are shaded, the perforations of this bespoke design let light through. The only cast shadows are interesting and intriguing patterns created by the laser cut pattern of the grid.
The recessed luminaires along the staircase wall create a reflective glow of the cadmium-red surface that reflects and reflects light in multiple directions, adding depth and dimension to this unique functional sculpture.
With all the bends required for these stairs, the lack of a visible support structure required a manufacturing process that included both the technical aspect of the engineers and highly skilled metalworkers who could create a final product of precision crafting.
12 – With the installed end product, the only addition to this interactive art form that was not supplied by Diapo is the human element. The homeowner and her guests supply this important feature.