SYDNEY, Australia - Originally installed by elevator & escalator pioneers Otis Elevator Co. in 1931, it was time to upgrade the wooden escalators at Sydney's Wynyard Station.
The government of South Wales called upon artist Chris Fox to figure out a redesign. The mind-bending Interloop sculpture is the result.
The 164-foot-long, five-ton floating Interloop reuses the four combs and 244 steps from the old wooden escalators to form a soaring and tangling sculpture that greets commuters upon entry to the station. Social media users and frequent travelers are apparently referring to the sculpture as the 'stairway of heaven.'
Lacking the technology to machine them in thin metal, the first escalators were made of wood with extremely thick treads. The thick treads were also set extremely wide apart - slicing off children's fingers ever since they were first installed.
In 1987, a fatal fire scourged London's King Cross station, and wooden escalators finally fell out of favor. The original Wynyard escalators were fire retardant, but safety concerns and stuck high heels forced an upgrade.