Edelman, Victoria, London [GB]
EeStairs + Gensler + Lucking & Clark
Agora staircases have become increasingly common in work and educational settings. Agoras were gathering places in ancient Greece, and so are 21st century agoras like the extra-wide staircase designed by Gensler to link the third and fourth floors at the London headquarters of the global communications firm, Edelman. The stairs epitomise the creative loose-fit atmosphere and staff interactions in the office spaces.
The staircase has a narrow flight of walkable stone-faced steps, with a glass balustrade, on one side and seven wide wood-faced steps designed to be sat on and used for work or relaxation. The original architectural drawings supplied to EeStairs were basic and EeStairs had to solve a significant structural issue by supporting the lower end of the stairs with a concealed steel I-beam running between pillars on each side of the stairs. And an extra section of glass balustrade was added to the top of the agora to keep people away from a window ledge.
Despite the loose-fit vibe of the office, EeStairs installers faced a tight-fit situation: there were no goods lifts in the building, so the stairs were delivered to site in small sections, carried up to the office floors in a small standard lift, and re-assembled.