Cascading staircase

A clear view of the stage: the cascading staircase offers the best seats in the house for watching a performance of Contemporary Dance students. Photograph: Regula Bearth © ZHdK

My favourite piece


Meeting point, grandstand, lunch table: the cascading staircase at the heart of the Toni Campus invites us to linger. It stands out amid the Toni’s cool grey concrete. Not because stairs are rare around here. On the contrary, climbing stairs is the number one sport on campus. What makes this staircase unique is its material: it alone is made of wood! Like the floors of the concert halls, the Momento cafeteria and the museum, as well as the handrails throughout the building, its steps are enveloped in light oak. Besides its pretty apparel, it also occupies a central position: sooner or later, almost every path leads via the broad staircase or through the cascading hall lying at its feet. Sitting on the steps is ideal for observing the Toni’s inhabitants: the dancers in their warm-up booties, heading to the next training session; the musicians shouldering instruments larger than themselves, on their way to their rehearsal rooms; lecturers enjoying their coffee break; or an industrial designer trying out the latest robot prototype. The cascading staircase offers a perfect view, whether at openings, dance performances or exhibitions taking place down in the cascade hall. And those who find the regulars’ table in the entrance hall too congested and too loud will find an alternative for their lunch break on the stairs, balancing their plate on their knees.

In this section, members of ZHdK present special things from everyday life at an arts university. For other favourites visit:
Andrea Zeller was a project manager at ZHdK University Communications. She stayed in good shape thanks to the 185 stairs at the Toni Campus.
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