As much as i hate drawing stairs, they are more or less a staple to any infrastructure that has more than one elevation. they are low in cost and require less space than other alternatives such as a ramp. you can think of stairs as being the perfect hybird of an elevator and a ramp.
stairs have their own body terminology
credits to visual dictionary
people commonly visualize the above profile of ‘stairs’ when they hear the term. but there are designers who have found a passion for designing stairs for esthetic purposes, others for funtionality purposes.
my all time favourite is this flight of stairs created by Heatherwick Studios. it is housed inside the longchamp flapship store in soho, new york.
the whole idea and inspiration behind this design is fabric. the design was to mimic the way fabric flows downwards. the challenge was to work with the available space that was provided in an already exisiting building.
here is another flight that has a similar idea by Atmosstudio
a few more favourites
i think that designing stairs is such a painful task though. not only does it have to be practical but also safe. last thing you want is someone falling off. the overall beauty is just the icing on top.
here are some minimalist designs which are very sleek and chic, but is a major safety concern for children.
apart from simply looking amazing, stairs are beginning to transform into storage spaces. of course this isnt something new since the concept has been practiced long ago in many colonial houses. whats different though is that variations of storage spaces in many nontraditional (cookiecutter) stairs are being designed.
there are so many more factors to consider on top of the ones mentioned. material choices, ‘tripping’ issues based on how the rise and tread are designed, and the ratio of the rise and tread, are only just a few of the many significant factors that designers have to consider.
what type of stairs appeal to you?