Blue Carpet Stairs
Stairs Newcastle City Centre Tyne And Wear

Blue Carpet Stairs

Stairs In Newcastle City Centre, Tyne And Wear

A curvaceous staircase in wood, metal and concrete by Thomas Heatherwick.

I came across this whilst looking at the surreal piece of art that is called the Blue Carpet so, I believe this has been given the name the Blue Carpet Staircase as it was also designed by Thomas Heatherwick. You can see people standing on the Blue Carpet (clue, it is no longer blue!)

It was commissioned by the Newcastle City Council.

All this came about in the 1970s as Newcastle was getting a makeover. Shopping malls, hotels, and new Civic buildings were being built. The downside was that some distinguished old buildings were demolished and roads redirected or new ones laid to allow traffic to flow. However, some areas were neglected and came late to the party, this area being one them.

In 2001 the stairs were designed by Thomas Heatherwick and made by McNulty who were shipbuilders and it has that nautical look in my opinion. It is constructed from steel, concrete, and laminated Marine ply, with cedar wood over this. Each piece has been handcrafted by computer, so no two bits are the same.

I believe Thomas Heatherwick said

"The simple broad-curving spiral gives the illusion of being light and self-supporting.”

The profile of the stairs has a nice swirl to it. I personally think the railings are nothing to do with the artist and the piece would aesthetically be better without it as a piece of art, but as a working construction, it is obviously much safer with railings.

At ground level, it shows that the woodwork is not a perpendicular like most stairs.

Decorative studs can go unnoticed unless you are trying to slide down!

There is a certain amount of footfall induced vibration due to when people walk on it as they apply dynamic forces causing the vibration (courtesy of The Concrete Society). More noticeable if you are stationary.

I was most fascinated to see fungi growing out of the wood. From the Woodland Trust website, I am confident it is aptly named Yellow Brain (Tremella mesenterica) and was considered a frilly sign of a witches curse!

Fortunately, the John Dobson (Newcastle's most famous architect (1787 to 1865)) residence called Oxford House was left intact and can be viewed from the stairs.

The staircase rises to a graffiti ridden area and will take you to Manors

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How To Find Blue Carpet Stairs

Where Is Blue Carpet Stairs?

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Lat / Long

54.974518, -1.607972

What three words

dose.bright.flute

Where To Park For Blue Carpet Stairs?

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Lat / Long

54.975003, 54.975003

What three words

chart.edit.happy

There are lots of parking in the city centre, but Highham parking is just down the side of the Laing Art Gallery.

Contributed by Rosalind Parker

Thanks for reading through and getting to the end of this post. I enjoy exploring the Fabulous North (Especially as a Southerner residing up North). I like 'snippets' of information, and more so, if they are obscure, amusing or meaningful. The photographs are taken on a mobile phone, without any enhancements.

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Rosalind Parker

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