Inspired by the spine of a whale, the Vertebrae Staircase has been designed by Canadian, Andrew Lee McConnell. This is an example of biomimic design and comprises single components (vertebrae) which connect with each other creating a spine running from stair tread to stair tread and forming a self-supporting structure.
The outer surface involves multiple layers of a composite fibre material housing the integral engineering elements. The vertebrae are joined using steel fittings locked together with steel pins.
Continuous structural spirals run through every vertebra at the hand rail section and beside each step, reinforced by structural foam and a network of steel rods. The staircase is designed to act as one structural element using repetitive elements. Each staircase consists of twenty two identical modules and only two unique end modules only three master moulds would theoretically be required to produce an entire staircase.
Blue Whale Vertebrae on display at CoCA Gallery, Christchurch