Rakvere Stairs


Siiri Vallner
Heidi Urb
Kavakava Architects

Step formula

Taavi Vallner


Vallimägi, Rakvere, Estonia


Completed 2005


Rakvere Municipality


Heidi Urb, Martin Siplane


Historical, Public Projects


Public, Refurbished, Rakvere

A simple, yet effective architectural solution to provide access and set the mood to meet the historical castle towering above the city. The form emphasizes the peculiar location of the stairs situated amidst backyards on the slope.

At the lower end of the stairs narrow steps fit for bugs with a height of 3mm. Each next step is a fraction higher, wider and deeper. At the top the steps are huge, the last one being 0.8m high and 1.6m deep. Climbing the stairs is a memorable physical experience.

A specially developed computer program defined the dimensions of the steps. The mathematical formula of the steps is a function of a diagram equaling the cross-section of the hill. This design demonstrates how an original solution may be used even for the most mundane of tasks.