#313: Re-treads

‘Spiral’ staircases cost the earth and they can also be anything but space-efficient.

Today’s invention is a way to have an elegant, even avant-garde, ‘spiral’ staircase at low cost and with the potential to fold away when not in use.


Take ten or so old bicycle frames (eg wrecks with no remaining cycle parts, of the kind you find chained to railings all over towns like Cambridge and which are routinely removed and junked). Discard any remaining forks, handlebars etc from the frames (you might choose to have the frames all grit blasted and coated in bright yellow epoxy paint, but it’s down to personal taste, darling). The forks and handlebars themselves might make hatstands, but that would be eccentric ; )

Remove the struts to where the rear axle fitted, so that you are left with a basic quadrlateral with two, nearly parallel tubes forming opposite sides. Through the tube where the forks used to be attached feed a scaffold pole long enough to run from floor to ceiling. Repeat this with all of the frames. Now array the frames in a helical pattern and attach a tread where each seat post used to go.

The frames can be moored so as to not rotate about the central pole (perhaps by tightening the old handlebar nuts). Releasing these allows the steps to be rotated into a single, space-saving ‘fin’ when not in use.

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