Staircases are commonly overlooked as something that allows you to travel from floor to floor – but what if a staircase could be a work of art?
We’ve found 10 of the World’s Best Staircase Designs to share with you – from weird and wacky to absolutely mind-blowing.
1. The Crouching Tiger and Turtle Staircase, Duisberg Germany.
Designed by sculptors, Ulrich Genth and Heike Mutter, this staircase took just 8 weeks to assemble – and is open to the public as a permanent public art sculpture. Don’t worry, though! Whilst the loop looks like it’s part of the course, it’s not actually accessible for pedestrians for safety reasons.
The intricate staircase is constructed from zinc and steel and stands at 11 metres high. Visitors are encouraged to follow the twists and turns of the sculpture whilst taking in the incredible view of the surrounding Ruhr landscape.
2. Umschreibung (Rewriting), Munich
Built in 2004 by artist Olafur Eliasson, this spiral staircase has an almost double helix like structure.
Visitors climb the 9 metres to the top before winding their way back down again. It’s an incredible example of how art and architecture can combine to create something extraordinary. You’ll find this staircase in the courtyard of the global accounting firm KPMG.
Source: Juxtapoz Magazine
3. Experimentarium Copper Spiral Stair, Denmark
Found in the centre of the Experimentarium’s atrium is a 100m long copper-clad spiral staircase, designed by Danish architecture firm, CEBRA. Shaped in the form of a DNA helix structure, it is made up of 160 tonnes of steel and coated in 10 tonnes of copper. The staircase has created better internal flow connecting all four floors together, also affirming the main focus of the centre’s scientific focus. CEBRA founding Kolja Nielsen said, “The stairs are an abstract version of the DNA strand’s structure,”.
4. Livraria Lello Staircase, Portugal
Located inside the Lello Bookstore in the Norte region of Portugal, this forked staircase is a sight to behold. The stair is one of the first things you’ll notice as you step inside the incredible neo-gothic designed store. With the woodwork mimicking the exquisite wooden walls of the store and the red colour of the stairs echoing the intricately stained glass ceiling above. Rumour has it that this was the place where J.K Rowling was first inspired to write her Harry Potter series. Inspiration really is everywhere!
Source: Local Porto
5. Hudson Yard Staircase, New York
Designed by Thomas Heatherwick, this honeycomb-like stair design is made up of a series of interconnecting staircases and sits at the centre of the vast Hudson Yards development. Titled the Vessel, it is also referred to as the beehive and stairway-to-nowhere!
The stair was designed to be the centrepiece of this incredible public space. Consisting of a series of copper coloured steel-clad staircases and landings, it will be truly at home amongst a city full of eye-catching structures when it completes in 2018.
6. The Unilever Series: Carsten Höller Test Site, Tate Modern London
Whilst, not exactly a staircase, this slide is still a way to move from floor to floor – and this incredible work of art was too good to leave out!
German artist, Carsten Höller, is passionate about creating situations which challenge familiar forms of perception and allow viewers to immerse themselves in the artwork. His work has included everything from buildings, vehicles, slides, toys, games, narcotics, animals, 3D films and even sensory deprivation tanks – but some of his most popular works have been that of a series of corkscrewing tubular metal slides. An ongoing project, Carsten first came up with the idea for this series when he realised that the act of sliding produces a loss of control that induces a state of mind related to the freedom from constraint.
7. Arkitekter’s Cultural Centre, Norway
The bright green interior surfaces of this stair ensure that it will never be overlooked – despite the fact it’s situated inside an Architizer A+ Award Winning Cultural centre.
Designed as a gathering place for the community and a hub for visitors, the centre is a work of art both inside and out. Under the jagged roof of the building, you’ll find a library, youth centre, cinemas, theatre, concert halls and even a church. In the centre of it all is a black-clad spiral staircase which is truly set apart from the light wood details of the surrounding areas with its bright lime green interior.
8. La Maison Unique, New York USA
Invited by Longchamp to design their new global flagship store, Heatherwick Studio had the challenge of creating a staircase within an unconventional building. The small ground floor street frontage and unusual configuration of space meant that the design team needed to come up with a design solution entice visitors up off the street and into the building.
Constructed from hot-rolled steel and constructed over a six month period, the stair weighs a whopping 55 tonnes and is an installation that simply cannot be missed.
Source: Heatherwick Studio
9. Apple Orchard Road, Singapore
Situated in the greenest city in Asia, the Apple Orchard Road store integrates a wide array of sustainable technologies and is one of the greenest Apple spaces yet.
The two-storey space is framed by walls of hand-carved, Castagna stone staircases – the architectural highlight of this incredible space.
Source: Mac Daily News
10. The Rainbow House by Ab Rogers Design
This staircase is the perfect example of how the use of colour can completely transform a staircase. Created by Ab Rogers Design in collaboration with DA Studio, the Rainbow House staircase is bright, colourful and fun and the perfect addition to this funhouse-meets-home.
Spotlighted by a skylight above, the staircase feels almost like it’s floating in mid-air with it’s clear glass balustrades and cantilevered spiral stair design.
Source: Design Milk
The above article outlines 10 extraordinary staircases throughout the world, where design and imagination combine to form structural masterpieces. At Active Metal we have in-house design and engineering teams that can start from scratch or work with your plans, the possibilities are endless. Blending 35 years of hands-on savvy with the energy of the new generation and the technologies of today gives you a formula for success. Our structural steel staircases are built to the highest standards and some of our recent work can be seen here, here and here. If you would like to get in touch, please feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.