Endless Stair was an installation with a difference: a work of art that is also a research project. Originally installed outside Tate Modern in London, its prefabricated, perpendicular layers were put together onsite just eight months after the idea was first conceived. This arresting sculpture’s interlocking staircases are made of cross-laminated American tulipwood panels.
Arup tested the material to ensure the Escher-like structure would not only be beautiful to look at, but also robust enough for people to walk on. The innovative use of cross-laminated hardwood timber ensured that the panels used in the sculpture remained slim and elegant. Tulipwood, one of the world’s most sustainable building materials, is rare in projects of this type. Endless Stair demonstrated the possible new uses of this old material, which are, like the installation itself, well and truly endless.
Photographer: © Daniel Imade