A Living Staircase as Floating Indoor Garden

June 26, 2015 by


Rising 41 feet up and four floors high, designer Paul Cocksedge’s Living Staircase floats within the space like a soaring indoor garden.


The steel and American white oak spiral staircase forms the internal nucleus of London’s Ampersand building in the city’s creative Soho neighborhood.


Along with creating a sculptural focal point, the structure provides respite from work with a curated library on the first floor and a tea bar at the top. The Living Staircase functions too like serpentine greenhouse which can be planted with both ornamental plants and edibles. Just pick some greens as you make your way up or downstairs.


Departing from traditional staircase design, Cocksedge’s solution removes the load-bearing pillar from the center and replaces it with a spiral creating a series of zones–for relaxation, creative thinking, and informal workplace interaction, including landings with built-in benches. From any floor, the staricase offers open views of the building’s atrium.



Planting along the entire balustrade forms an airborne garden which can be maintained by the whole office community, cultivating the kind of engagement and interaction more commonly associated with the office water cooler.


Cocksedge says of the work, “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. I hope the Living Staircase will be used in ways we hadn’t at all expected! This is the beauty of it: it allows so much space for all kinds of activities. I’m really looking forward to Ampersand’s staff taking over the structure and making it totally their own.”

H/T Dezeen. Photos by Mark Cocksedge.

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