Celebrating Stairs

Designing connections – discovering the beauty and functionality of stairs

Simply put, stairs connect floors vertically, allowing movement and circulation between levels. At LOM, our workplace design celebrates stairs that take these simple terms seriously.

Unity Place, our newly completed headquarters for Santander UK, has an open feature staircase at its heart. Circulatory, vitalising, and connective, the staircase’s crisscross geometries define and defy its surroundings, animating the clean, linear form of the building, and linking collaborative spaces across each floor.

Moving up or down a staircase, your perspective shifts in real time. Changing thresholds and new points of view can energise the chance interactions a circulatory space enables. Through deliberate design decisions, stairs are now becoming increasingly flexible – doubling as theatres, town halls, and break-out social spaces, while serving as the circulation routes around a building. A multipurpose staircase can become a building’s beating heart, a vertical town-square of storeys and stories. It can be a point of arrival, focus, or departure; it can be a space people meet, and congregate, or a stage for announcements.

Intrinsically, a staircase also promotes well-being – and when done right, can encourage social interaction. Stairs help to create the flexibility that workplaces of the future need – so at LOM we always encourage our clients to celebrate their stairs!

Unity Place

A series of wide staircases weave between the upper floors at Unity Place – the new headquarters of Santander UK – providing a defining feature of the central atrium located at the building’s core. The striking zigzag motion intervenes playfully upon the disciplined form, and encourages users to move between the work-floors using the stairs, rather than lifts. The beatifully crafted stairs are clad in timber over an engineered steel frame, created off-site and craned into place.

Shepherd’s Bush Road

At 184 Shepherd’s Bush Road, we worked with data science company Dunnhumby to transform a Grade II listed factory with a new feature stair and atrium space to facilitate visual and social connections between spaces – introducing a focal point for the work floor. The wide staircase is uplifting passage and encourages encounters, while the opening illuminates the lower floor with natural light.

National Bank of Oman

We designed the flagship National Bank of Oman headquarters to reflect the heritage, landscape, and natural topography of the country. The atrium evokes the cave-like structures of Oman’s wadis – the majestic, world-famous valley ravines – with the staircase representing a waterfall at the back of the space and unifying the building’s open, circulatory routes.

Hexagon Place

Hexagon Place is Roche UK’s head office building in Hertfordshire, a work and research centre refurbished by LOM to support flexible working and wellbeing. We worked with Roche’s workplace team to introduce a large staircase and bleacher as a central social space, with soft seating to create a gathering space for socialising, collaborations, meetings, events and presentations. The floorplates are connected to an atrium space where this feature staircase installation now links the lower reception area with the upper work floors, transforming the interior space and creating connections.

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