Intricately-curved oak staircase weaves like a plant
May 3, 2018 | 4:39 pm UTC

Photo By Alex Haw

StairStalk is a flowing and plant-like laminated oak staircase recently unveiled at the new HIDE restaurant in London.
Designed by Atmos Studio, StairStalk's entire surface is made of European oak: the main structure was layered from glued slices of thin oak veneer, laid and laminated together against curved molds and hand-sanded into shape. Atmos designed the staircase to appear plant-like, featuring "leaf-like" stairs that emerge from a structural "stem".
"It twists upwards, spiraling energetically like a corkscrew, steps unfurling seamlessly from the structural stem-like leaves, while further branches similarly delaminate to form a delicate wavy balustrade guiding the guests carefully upwards," said the studio.
GD Staircases and Trabczynski, a Polish fabricator, managed the complicated construction, which involved a highly-specialized method of bentwood construction. The main structure of hundreds of layers of oak veneer was built around a concealed steel and plywood core. The metal core was required to maintain the structure, enabling the staircase to "float" upwards and remain free from constraint at the walls. Steel plates embedded in the wood allow for additional support for the treads.
The oak was darkened using natural stains and oils - brushed on heavier to elevate contrast in selected areas.
StairStalk is the centerpiece of the HIDE restaurant. It descends from a basement bar to the dining rooms on the ground floor and upper mezzanine. 
All photos by Alex Haw.

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About the author
Robert Dalheim

Robert Dalheim is an editor at the Woodworking Network. Along with publishing online news articles, he writes feature stories for the FDMC print publication. He can be reached at [email protected]