Art and Design

Spirals in architecture

Spirals have often inspired architects. Spiral staircases take up less space than ordinary staircases. They are a helix shape, a curve in 3-dimensions that extends upwards or downwards but does not get wider. In the 1940s, Brynmawr Rubber Factory was designed with a helix staircase in the boiler house. It was a clever design that supported itself without a central column. It is similar to the double helix of DNA molecules.

Helix Staircase, Brynmawr Rubber Factory

Maggie’s cancer care centre in Swansea was designed by the Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa in 2011. He wanted the building to be beautiful for cancer patients to be in. He also wanted it to be a symbol of life and energy, like a whirlpool with ‘forces swirling round a centre’.

Maggie’s Cancer Care Centre, Swansea