British artist Alex Chinneck is known for his mind-bending architectural sculptures that effortlessly combine the elements of art, design, and architecture. Whether in the form of an unzipped building, a structure turned on its head, or walls sliding down and cracking open to reveal what’s hidden behind them, his inventive sculptures always manage to challenge our perception of the world around us. A feat that always seems to transform the mundane into something remarkable.
One of his most complex and ambitious sculptures to date takes shape as a spiral staircase that springs upward and outward. The soaring structure, titled A Spring in your step, stretches further from expected reality and functionality as you trace its shape upwards. As it climbs skywards, its components uncoil and stretch further apart from each other, ultimately jutting out in three opposite directions. A green door even curves out from the tip of one of the staircase’s metal threads, adding to the sculpture’s surreal effect.
The galvanized steel structure climbs 25 meters (about 82 feet) up the façade of a building in Circus Street, a new neighborhood development in Brighton, England, built by regeneration specialist U+I. According to the artist, the four-ton sculpture “follows a non-repeating, expanding and contracting helical form” and took an entire three years to complete. Now, the site-specific work stands as a playful backdrop to the central courtyard below, contributing to the creative energy envisioned for the space.