The spiral staircase designed by Roger Tallon in the 60's is a French icon if there ever was one. Created en 1964, the "M400" as it is known, is made up of stackable polished cast aluminum steps, topped in black rubber, piled up one on top of the other on a center aluminum post. In 1974, 3 wood options were added for the top of the steps. This stunning "stair-in-a-kit" was not the only achievement of Monsieur Tallon, far from it.
Roger Tallon conceptualized the Air France cabins with Jean-Charles de Castelbajac in 1965 and he also designed the Mexico City subway, the French Corail train cars and later some of the French TGV train cars. To say that he is a French design star is a big understatement, needless to say.
I have loved these stairs for ever and I would happily have added them to my small Paris apartment. When the moment came to make a decision however, I realized I would have to settle for straight wood steps with metal cable rails. More affordable but also somewhat safer, or so it seems at first glance. Sigh... its sculpture-like elegance would have made such a statement. Once again, in my design obsessed life, function won over form. Once again, surely for the better.
The stairs as they appeared in a magazine articles in the 70's...
...and now, with the thoughtful addition of a clever, discreet and necessary handrail.
This one is in fact two distinct spirals, you may have noticed.
images marie claire maison, ounodesign, forumhardware, artvalue