Alex de Rijke of dRMM has designed a cluster of interlocking stairs for London Design Festival this year. The installation, which echoes the optical illusion of an Escher drawing, will be outside St Paul´s Cathedral for the duration of the festival, where visitors can climb up to platforms with views towards the Thames and the Tate Modern. De Rijke describes the structure, which will be several storeys high, as a ´three-dimensional exercise in composition’ – and it looks like the designers had a lot of fun playing with the shape, scale and logic of the overall piece.

Endless Stair, a commission for the American Hardwood Export Council, is built using repeating panels in cross-laminated timber. Usually made from softwood, the panels for de Rijke’s installation will pioneer the hard American tulipwood, with engineering by Arup. The designers say tulipwood’s stiffness and strength in panel form made it an exciting material to make such a structure with … and we can’t wait to see the results.

Model photos by dRMM, render by Cityscape.