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Endless Stair

If you haven't climbed the Endless Stair at the Tate Modern, find out more about our visit.

Endless Stair invites visitors to climb a series of 20 Escher-like interlocking staircases made from a prefabricated construction using 44 cubic metres of Tulipwood. As a viewpoint, the structure is on axis with the Millennium Bridge leading directly to the Tate Modern and provides an impressive view of the River Thames. London based design practice Seam Design provides a lighting scheme to illuminate the installation using equipment by Lumenpulse.

The complex construction is designed by Alex de Rijke, Co-Founder of dRMM Architects and provides something of a challenge for engineering partner Arup. Tulipwood is a plentiful and sustainable American Hardwood export, composed here for the first time as cross - laminated timber (CLT). CLT is a method of exploiting the structural properties of timber to create panels that can form buildings quickly, efficiently and sustainably. Traditionally, CLT is made using softwood because it provides a cheap and readily available source of wood fibre. The Endless Stair pioneers the use of a hardwood species, which is inherently lighter and stronger than its softwood equivalents.

“Endless Stair is a three-dimensional exercise in composition, structure and scale. The ambitious structure is both marker and meeting place, on axis with the Millennium Bridge. The Escher-like game of perception and circulation in timber playfully contrasts with the religious and corporate environment of stone and glass in the city.” Alex de Rijke, Co-Founder, dRMM Architects

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