International case studies

The intention of the last two chapters is to present some outstanding examples of stairs, escalators and lifts designed in the last 15 years. A few of the studies were included in the original book, but these, as in the case of the Pyramid in Le Grand Louvre, Paris, are exceptional and should never be omitted from any book on the subject of stairs.

Sculptural forms applied to stairs give the building interest and frequently it is

Figure 12a Vitra International Furniture Museum at Wein on Rhein, Architect: Frank Gehry

Figure 12b Penguin Pool, London Zoo, Architect: Lubetkin, Drake and Tecton

Figure 12c Sculpture by Louise Bourgeis for Tate Modern opening 2000

the suggestion of the stair behind, as expressed in the elevation, that is so intriguing. A good example of this is the Vitra International Furniture Museum at Weil am Rhein by Frank Gehry. Perhaps the greatest sculptural ramp of all was not for humans but for penguins at the London Zoo, by Lubetkin, Drake and Tecton. When the penguins are lined up waiting for food, they compare well with the gentlemen in black tie and tails of the musical extravaganza of the 1930s film (refer to Figure 2.29). Also worthy of note are the three sculptures by Louise Bourgeois exhibited at the opening of the New Tate Museum in 2000 where staircases swirl round the central columns to enable the viewer to climb up to the top platforms to view the mirrors at close quarters.

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