Art Students Created A Portable Staircase You Can Use To Climb Trees And Get A Better View Of The World

The UK’s Royal College of Art graduates Thor ter Kulve and Rob McIntyre have created a genius spiral staircase that can be strapped to a tree without harming it.

“Imagine climbing a tree but not worrying about how you are going to get down. It feels very safe,” said McIntyre.

Tony McIntyre

The pair conceived of the idea while on vacation in Portugal. The house where they were staying was surrounded by a high wall, making it difficult to get a good view.

Their solution? Climb a tree.

Tony McIntyre

“Only by climbing a tree in the garden could we watch the sun setting across the ocean. We began to discuss ways of transforming a garden tree into a staircase, allowing us to walk up and down easily and enjoy the view.” McIntyre told Dezeen Magazine.

The stairs are made from a curved form of birch plywood, typically used in making small aircraft.


CanopyStair is attached to the tree using adjustable ratchet straps.

Tony McIntyre

Aluminum joints hold the steps to the tree, and they’re covered in protective neoprene at the contact points to prevent damaging the tree’s trunk.

Tony McIntyre

“Since tree trunks are all unique we had to design a system that would adapt to their uneven surfaces, whilst not harming the tree in any way,” Ter Kulve explained.

Tony McIntyre

“We have worked with the arboriculturalists at Hampstead Heath to ensure we are not damaging the tree,” McIntyre assured.

Tony McIntyre

The surface of each step is covered in a coarse material to prevent slipping.

Tony McIntyre

Although working prototypes of the CanopyStair exist, including two installed at the Royal College of Art, it’s not yet available for purchase.

Laura Lean

There’s even a handrail for added safety when climbing.

Tony McIntyre

“On climbing the CanopyStair, one enters this secret world, and it is somehow mesmerising,” said McIntyre.

Tony McIntyre

Visit the CanopyStair website for more information.


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