The eye-catching staircase is located in the Flemish Brabant municipality of Tielt-Winge in Belgium, and has been designed by engineering studio Close to bone. Its structure blurs the distinction between a tower and a stairway which floats high above the famous Kabouterbos.
Standing unsupported, the 11.5 metres tall tower replaced an existing wooden lookout which was burnt by vandals. To prevent further acts of arson, the new tower was engineered completely from metal. It comprises several galvanised steel sections that are clad in sheets of pre-rusted metal, known as weathering steel. At the summit of the staircase, a viewing platform is set 10 metres above the ground, where small peepholes in the tall balustrades frame allows a wonderful view over the pastoral landscape. In the designer`s own words, modeling the tower of 12 tonnes was a “war against its own weight”. To ensure the structure, he manually calculated the forces acting in each element of the staircase to define its form and dimension.