Thursday Salute to Originals: Stair or Sculpture?

Staircases have become more than a physical connection between two floors; some of the most innovative stair designs around the world are architectural focal points created to evoke feelings of movement, fantasy, and even fear. We hope these whimsical creations will inspire you to skip the elevator, and take the stairs instead!

Sensualscaping Stair (above)

With the use of digital production and fabrication, Atmos Studio has transformed a residential staircase into a sculptural masterpiece. The stairs themselves are a “continuation and intensification of the simple graphic skirting board lines that trace their way through the house. As they turn the corner into the stair void, they expand like a genie released from a lamp, curling and separating and bifurcating from the wall to the delicate edge of the stair treads, lifting into the air to rise as the veil of the balustrade.”

TAF Stairs (above)

Between it’s depth distortion, angled treads, and steep rise, this Stockholm staircase takes visitors from one floor to another without taking up a large amount of space. TAF arkitektkontor not only designed the residential stair to occupy a space smaller than a typical closet, but used pine wood as a primary building material, adding an additional level of sustainability.

Umschreibung Stair (above)

Olafur Eliasson used the architectural details of a staircase to create an inspiring steel sculpture located in Munich Germany. The 9 meter tall piece of art located in the courtyard of an accounting firm is just as beautiful as it is puzzling.

Bird’s Nest Suspended Staircase (above)

Alluding to the confined nature of a bird cage, the haphazard pattern of steel bars act as a contrast to the monochromatic interior environment. While the metal elements draw attention to the intricate design, they also act as structural support for the delicate wood planks.

Ribbon Staircase (above)

At first glance, the fragile steps of HSH’s Ribbon Staircase appear to defy gravity. Constructed of 10 mm thick sheet metal, the system relies on hidden brackets mounted into the wall to distribute weight down to the floor.  Form and structure merge in a winding ribbon with bold colors accentuating the sharp turns.

Image credits: Atmos Studio, Farm5 via Flickr, WebUrbanist