Architectural Staircases Feature

Catherine Bowen small
Catherine Bowen
, Plascon Trends Editor

Design Collective Architectural Staircases in Shanghai designed by Neri & Hu, Image Source architonic.com

Design Collective staircase in Shanghai designed by Neri & Hu, Image Source: architonic.com

Architectural staircases are primarily functional design elements, but oh what glorious design elements of a building they can be… Like this beautiful wooden stairwell in Shanghai designed by neri & hu inter-disciplinary architectural design practice based in Shanghai, China. In a potentially austere and clinical white shopping space, the stairwell’s organic texture, warmth and scale gives the space a sense of drama and atmosphere:

Design Collective Architectural Staircases

Design Collective Architectural Staircases in Shanghai designed by Neri & Hu, Image Source architonic.com

Design Collective staircase in Shanghai designed by Neri & Hu, Image Source: architonic.com

Design Collective Architectural Staircases in Shanghai designed by Neri & Hu, Image Source architonic.com

Design Collective staircase in Shanghai designed by Neri & Hu, Image Source: architonic.com

Or this other wooden masterpiece (“Endless Stair”) by Dutch firm Studioninedots who believe that “stairs are sculpture’s gift to architecture”. This particular stairwell is made of cross-laminated panels of tulipwood (a sustainable hardwood) that is also highly stable since its pyramidal structures transfer all the weight on it to the ground. (architonic.com)

Studioninedots Architectural Staircases

Studioninedots Architectural Staircases at mixed-use building De Burgemeester in the Netherlands, Image Source archtitonic.com

Studioninedots staircase at mixed-use building De Burgemeester in the Netherlands, Image Source: archtitonic.com

Studioninedots Architectural Staircases at mixed-use building De Burgemeester in the Netherlands Image Source archtitoniccom

Studioninedots Architectural Staircases at mixed-use building De Burgemeester in the Netherlands Image Source archtitoniccom

Or my third and favourite statement-architectural-stairwell by Danish architectural firm 3XN in UN City, which is the UN’s regional HQ on an artificial island in Copenhagen’s docks. UN City is star-shaped in order to express the UN’s desire to reach all parts of the world. Its atrium is lit by natural light and the central feature is this exquisite black, high-gloss stairwell. The stairwell (below) was designed with the intention of sparking interaction and informal meetings between employees. (architonic.com)

UN City Architectural Staircases

UN City Architectural Staircases in Copenhagen, Image Source architonic.com

UN City regional HQ stairwell in Copenhagen, Image Source: architonic.com

UN City Architectural Staircases in Copenhagen, Image Source architonic.com

UN City regional HQ stairwell in Copenhagen, Image Source: architonic.com

UN City Architectural Staircases in Copenhagen, Image Source architonic.com

UN City regional HQ stairwell in Copenhagen, Image Source: architonic.com

UN City Architectural Staircases in Copenhagen, Image Source architonic.com

UN City regional HQ stairwell in Copenhagen, Image Source: architonic.com

So, perhaps the aspiring home-builders among you out there will consider making a feature out of your staircase and turn it into a “sculptural gift to architecture”, rather than just a means of getting from A-to-B… 😉

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