Perfectly formed between several floors

Staircase with an extraordinary geometry and a wedge-shaped soffit

Data & Facts

  • Project
    • Two special staircases for a new sales office
  • Architects
    • steinbrink . krumpe architekten + stadtplaner GbR
  • Principal
    • CAMLOG Management GmbH, Wimsheim, Germany
  • Contractor
    • Gottlob Rommel GmbH & Co KG, Stuttgart
  • MEVA solution
    • Special formwork made up of nine wooden panels, of which some are reused several times
  • Engineering and support
    • MEVA Schalungs-Systeme, Haiterbach,Germany

Creative 3D design is an ­abolute must

Elliptical, semicircular, with varying radii or as a rounded L with wedge-shaped soffit: stairs are no longer simply right-angled functional components found in confined or dark stairwells. Architects of today like to design unusually shaped staircases. They are intended to function as attractive eye-catchers, to give the visitors a feeling of space, dynamism, and individuality, and to make them feel welcome the moment they enter the building.

The staircase in Camlog’s new Sales Building West in Wimsheim achieves this to perfection. Shaped like a rounded L with a wedge-shaped soffit, it connects the ground floor to the first floor and then, with a geometrically identical design, the first floor to the second floor. Its location in the middle of the spacious, light-flooded foyer accentuates the unusual design of the approximately 9.50 m long staircase, which is 1.60 m wide across its outer edges. Both staircases were poured by the Stuttgart-based construction company Gottlob Rommel using special wooden panels manufactured to the specification provided by MEVA and assembled on site to form a complete formwork system for each staircase.

Creative 3D design is an ­abolute must
The most difficult part of producing the geometries from the architect’s plan in concrete is the shape. This design has lots of different gradients, curvatures and angles, but no level surfaces or right angles. Using standard formwork to produce these unique geometries is out of the question. As a result, it is necessary to design and manufacture special formwork which exactly reflects the geometries to be produced. For technical, geometrical, structural and logistical reasons it is not possible to manufacture and use a special single-piece formwork to produce a stairway of this size. To produce the special shape, individual panels have to be designed, which can be easily transported to the construction site after manufacture, and then assembled and braced effortlessly to form a complete formwork system. The spacial conditions also have to be considered during the planning phase. At this construction site, the panels had to be lowered through the opening in the concrete ceiling.

Cost-effective: reusable panels
Each staircase was formed used six modules that were designed so that three of the modules used for the lower staircase could also be used for the upper staircase, despite the different ceiling heights. To achieve this, minimal changes had to be made during the installation and assembly of the modules that form the complete formwork system.

Time-saving: no complicated connections
Every panel consists of a base plate with moulded slices on both sides, to which a multi-layer forming face with a low-cost underlay is attached. The facing is filled and then finished with several coats of paints to produce an optimum concrete surface. The form and size of the individual panels were perfectly matched to the adjacent panels, meaning that it was only necessary to support them from below, and not to bolt them together or connect them by other means. This meant that the panels had to be designed and manufactured with extreme care and that the workers at the construction site needed to be well trained and highly skilled.

“This is the first time we have poured a staircase like this. Thanks to special formwork, everything went according to plan“, concluded planning engineer Frieder Rapp while talking to MEVA’s project manager Helmut Baumgart.