As we’ve mentioned on numerous occasions, the staircase, regardless of its design or style, is a very important element in a building’s architecture, structure, and design.
The staircase has changed dramatically as time passed. Designers always try to come up with new ideas and influences. Sometimes they think out-of-the-box stair designs by using or combining unusual materials, while other times they create new shapes and forms.
Incredible Staircase Designs from Around the World
Each staircase is unique and there are lots of options to explore. There are stairs with unique shapes, stairs shaped like DNA, staircases made of glass, monstrous staircases on large scales, staircases made of steel, of wood, of concrete, of marble, staircases with slides or staircases with built-in storage. Each type, model, and style has its own unique characteristics. They impress in their own way and they represent spectacular focal points.
But some designers have taken the idea of creating unique staircases even further. Modern staircases impress on whole different levels. For example, someone has designed a musical staircase that plays sounds as you touch each step. Some designers have transformed the staircase into a form of art. But regardless of the case, it’s important to see the staircase as an individual piece and a unique creation.
1. DNA Staircases Made From a Wide Variety of Materials
It’s easy to see why these are called DNA staircases. Their shape is very suggestive and it’s been inspired by the double helix shape of the molecules. This shape can be adapted to designs featuring all sorts of materials. There are wooden DNA staircases as well as staircases made of glass, metal, or combinations of several materials.
2. A Deconstructable Staircase by Alberto Mozo
The main idea behind a deconstructable staircase is that it doesn’t need to be demolished if one decided to replace it. It can simply be taken apart, piece by piece, and then it can also be put back together at a different location. The idea is clever and was created by architect Alberto Mozo.
3. A Glass Floating Staircase
Since glass is a transparent material and it already feels light and delicate, creating a seemingly floating staircase made of glass is actually quite easy. Even though it seems light, fragile, and unable to support much weight, a glass staircase is in fact very durable and strong. It is also very safe even though the feeling you get when you look down through the transparent stairs is not exactly reassuring.
4. Piedra Del Peñol In Medellín, Colombia
Some staircases don’t impress with their design or shape but with their size. A perfect example of that would be this imposing staircase. It is embedded in stone and can be found in Piedra del Peñol in Medellín, Colombia. Getting to the top is definitely not easy and there are lots of stairs to climb but the views available from there are something to look forward to and they will make all the effort fade away. Of course, if you want to skip that part you can use the elevator.
5. A Functional Modern Staircase SCI-Arc Gallery in Los Angeles
Staircases were invented out of need. At first, they were a purely functional creation, but with time the designs changed and form became more and more important. This progress has led to the concept of the staircase as art. A perfect example would the staircase from the SCI-Arc Gallery from Los Angeles. It was designed by Dwayne Oyler and Kelly Wu in collaboration with the engineering firm Buro Happold and it’s truly spectacular.
6. Musical Stairs in Tokyo
The musical stairs are a more modern creation. They’re another concept that invites us to look at this magnificent element as art and to accept its amazing beauty. The musical staircase can be found in the Sony Building from Tokyo. Each step plays a different note and, as you touch them, music is created.
7. A Staircase Designed For Narrow Spaces
Some homes have very limited space so hallways become narrow and tight. But this doesn’t mean that staircases can’t be built there. In fact, the Swedish Architects of TAF Architect Office have found the perfect solution: a staircase designed for narrow spaces. The stairs are made of wood and are arranged in a V-shape. This way they allow you to comfortably use them while occupying very little space.
8. A Staircase That Doubles Up As A Bookcase
An idea also designed for small spaces or for those that simply wish to take advantage of all the space available is the staircase that also serves as a bookcase. There are several options in this case. You can either use the staircase wall as a bookcase or the actual stairs as storage compartments. You can adapt the design and come up with the idea that better suits your space.
9. Modern Steel Staircases
Just like glass is a strong material that seems delicate and fragile, steel is a very strong material that is actually very versatile and easy to model. Steel staircases don’t necessarily have to look rigid. They can have organic forms and designs that will make you think twice about judging something by appearances. This staircase was designed by architect Thomas Heatherwick and it’s made of continuous strips of hot-rolled steel with undulating lines.
10. Using Stairs for Storage
Since we’ve already discussed staircases as bookcase replacements, maybe it would also be interesting to envision them as clever additional storage spaces for more than books. Think of each stair as a potential storage compartment that you can use to either display or store all sorts of items. It’s a great idea for small spaces.
11. A Sculptural Box Staircase
This is a more unusual type of staircase. It’s like a box hanging above floor level. The staircase was designed by architect Blencowe-Levine and can be found in the Battersea area of London. It definitely has a sculptural look. The concept is simple as well as innovative and original.
12. Minimalistic Floating Staircases
Floating staircases usually seem to focus more on looks and design and the issue of safety comes in second place. Still, it’s not a problem for staircases that have guardrails or at least a handrail. But some designs just seem dangerously simple. This minimalist staircase was designed by Jordi Vayreda. The stairs are made of steel and the main idea was to maintain a minimalist and transparent look.
13. Using Skateboards as Stairs
A staircase’s design can be inspired by just about anything. Once you pick a theme, all you have to do is figure out the best way to integrate it into your design. For this staircase, the inspiration came from skateboards. Each stair is shaped like a skateboard and they are all attached to a solid aluminum beam.
14. Add a Slide to Your Staircase
If you want to add a cheerful and fun touch to your staircase’s design, maybe a slide would be a good idea. This staircase features two possibilities in which you can use it. You can either use the stairs or the slide. The designer behind this creation was Rodney Miller.
15. 10th Century Staircases from India
All these modern creations and concepts are very interesting. But let’s remember the reason why the staircase was invented in the first place. It was a functional creation and we can still see this in some areas where ancient staircases have been preserved. This is Chand Baori from India. These stairs were built in the 10th century and the purpose of that was to solve the water-related problems in the area. There’s a total of 3500 narrow steps that have been preserved until today.
16. Colorful Staircases
While all of these staircases have their own unique features, many of them are made from one material or in a single color. The Batu Caves are known for their incredible tall staircase, which features stairs in a wide variety of vibrant colors. This colorful scheme could be incorporated into anywhere in the world and would make even a small staircase appear more exciting and vibrant.
17. A Spiral Staircase
In many of the world’s grandest buildings, you’ll find tall spiral staircases. Someone walking down from the top floor can see all the way to the bottom, and this architectural feature is a prominent part of the building. A great example of one of the world’s most spectacular staircase designs can be found in the Bramante Staircase in Vatican City.
18. An Infinite Staircase
Located within an office block in Munich, Germany, you’ll find the Umschreibung, which is a perplexing set of stairs to look at. The stairs actually lead to nowhere, creating this fun loop that simply goes up and then comes back down to the ground. The design was created by a Danish architect named Olafur Eliasson and was unveiled in 2004.
19. Beautiful Ornate Staircases
On top of the design of the staircase, sometimes a set of stairs is incredible purely due to its decoration. This Baroque spiral staircase is located in Melk Abbey in Austria and leads from one library room to others in the building. Underneath each of the steps made from stone, you’ll see the material is painted in great detail. When walking up and down the stairs, visitors will always have something to admire above their heads, instead of just walking on a dull set of stairs.
20. Mosaic Steps in San Francisco
For anyone visiting San Francisco this year, don’t miss your chance to admire the 16th Avenue Tiled Steps. The stairs were constructed as part of a community project, and they soon became the largest mosaic staircase in the whole world. With over 2,000 handmade tiles, it’s soon become one of the most popular tourist sites in the city, with visitors flocking to admire the time and skill that went into creating this masterpiece.
21. An Iconic Crimson Red Staircase
A bold statement color can help a staircase to be transformed from ordinary to extraordinary. Located in Portugal, you’ll find a bookstore called Livraria Lello, which was built in 1906. It’s known for the bold red staircase, which would look incredible in any modern or traditional home today. This color will attract the attention of any guest, but of course, any bold and striking color will do the same job.
22. A Dainty Staircase
Palazzo Biscari is known for its ornate staircase, which has a dainty rail and stunning decorations underneath it. It’s a great example of using the underside of the staircase as another surface in your home to add artwork to. Even though the palace itself has over 700 rooms, this small staircase still captures the attention of visitors to this magnificent location.
23. Staircases as Part of a Building’s Architecture
Spectacular staircases aren’t just found inside buildings, and they may be displayed on the exterior as a prominent architectural feature. In Spain, La Muralla Roja is a post-modern apartment complex that was built in 1973. The bold color palette and the use of staircases in the building’s design help to set this building apart from anything else you’ve seen before.
24. A Grand Entryway
When you first enter a home or building, a staircase can make an incredible first impression. The grand staircase in the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha is a great example of this, and it makes visitors’ jaws drop as they first enter the building. Homes of any size could try and recreate this impression by making the staircase the first thing anyone notices as they step through your door.
25. Piano Stairs
Taking the idea of musical stairs one step further, piano stairs transform a staircase into a piano. You’ll have all of the white and black keys you’d usually find on the musical instrument, which then reacts as someone walks over them. It’s such a fun way to climb a staircase, and visitors will enjoy creating tunes as they continue on their journey.
While many of these staircases would be too big for the average home, they can certainly give you some inspiration for a staircase makeover. You’ll find that any set of stairs can be transformed into a focal point of your entryway with just a coat of paint or a simple upgrade to the stair design. All of these stairs are absolutely incredible to witness, and if you are lucky enough to travel to one of these locations, we highly encourage you to check them out.