Polyurethane staircase creates whimsical patterns

Especially for children, French studio Artificial Architecture designed a spiral staircase made with the soft material polyurethane foam, which is slowly covered in whimsical and colourful patterns.

The unusual staircase is an experimental object made for the two children of the house, Léa and Tim. The soft, shock-absorbing material caters specifically to their four-legged movements and playtime needs.

The polyurethane staircase itself is translucent, made of polypropylene honeycomb and a composite of fibreglass and resin. The stairs both absorbs light and reflects it, becoming less obvious or brighter according to the intensity of ambient light.

The polyurethane foam is flexible, soft and bouncy, functioning as memory foam. Footsteps leave their marks in the material, which slowly resumes its original shape. The surface of the staircase feels soft and silky at times, and rougher, like an orange peel, at others.

The foam is coloured with a fluid mixture of dripping paint materials. When someone steps on the stairs, the paint spills according to the weight movement and the weight of the paint, creating whimsical patterns, similar to those of children create when playing with paint. The pattern changes throughout the day as the staircase interacts with the occupants.

Photos: Artificial Architects