Wild and warping, this wooden staircase takes its cues from Coco Chanel’s famous mirrored staircase

Drawing inspiration from Coco Chanel’s famous mirrored staircase in her 31 Rue Cambon apartment in Paris, ACME, a studio based in London, United Kingdom (U.K.), created a staircase using modern construction methods and an adaptive design approach.

Set up at the company’s office, the huge twin spiral staircase pays tribute to Chanel’s legendary staircase by having two sides of the structure clad with mirrors, allowing anyone at the top of observe the goings on in the office, much like Chanel herself used to do during fashion shows with the aid of her staircase.

Dynamic and unique, the staircase is more than just aesthetic and social – capable of starting conversations easily as an engaging, lively transitional space – it also creates its own structural integrity. With no connections to the top and bottom of the stairs, it is a free-standing structure. As a counterweight, the stair is comprised of layers of cross-laminated timber (CLT), with each of the steps made up of six timber elements.

“The stair is a prototype to show how very humble elements of solid timber, simply fixed together, can form an interesting sculptural solution to the everyday task of going up and down, and solve a complex structural problem with an intelligently engineered solutions and an interesting use of timber technology,” Friedrich Ludewig, Director of ACME, said to ArchDaily. “Simple structures can be simultaneously beautiful, economic and practical, and help to create inspiring spaces in which to live and work.”


Architects: ACME
Location: Shoreditch, London, U.K.
Year of completion: 2017
Photo credit: Ed Reeve