Steel Spiral Staircase in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Customer Project

Structural Engineering and Design
Vic Obdam Staalbouw BV, Obdam, The Netherlands

Model Data of Spiral Staircase

In 2017, VIC OBDAM was commissioned by BAM to fully design the Kasbank project (total weight about 334 t) in Amsterdam. This project included a free-standing steel spiral staircase.

VIC OBDAM is an independent steel construction company that completes complex steel projects from design to installation.

Construction and Design

Design was one of the main challenges in the spiral staircase project. To reach the final design, several intermediate steps were necessary. Multiple models were calculated taking into account the deformation total in addition to meeting the client’s aesthetic wishes. Each model was calculated in the RFEM structural analysis software which made it possible to clearly view critical areas. After each intermediate design step, an optimization step was made which ultimately resulted in the final design.

The staircase structure behaves like a large spiral spring. The handrail is made of glass which required the deformations to be minimal.

The staircase is suspended from tension members attached to the top floor which spans between a concrete structure. The fixed supports are located at the bottom of the stairs. The deformation of the top floor was considered to determine the floor’s bending stiffness influence. This stiffness impacts the tensile force in the tension members.

A dynamic analysis was also performed to determine the structure’s natural frequency. The vibration effects could then be estimated for the spiral staircase.

The element connections were also an important focus to ensure the deformations were minimal. The steel connections’ stiffnesses were analyzed and the rotational stiffness was included in the RFEM model.

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Structural engineering software for finite element analysis (FEA) of planar and spatial structural systems consisting of plates, walls, shells, members (beams), solids and contact elements

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