Last Updated on May 1, 2020
The stairs inside any structure are often dismissed as just a functional part of the building, nothing more. Although they are designed to aesthetically blend in with the rest of your interior or exterior, they are often not styled in such a way that they become the center of attention.
Symbolism in Stairs
There is so much more to a staircase than meets the eye. In fact, stairs have been used to symbolize a number of different things.
In Freemasonry, stairs symbolize different lessons learned, eventually leading to a much higher level of knowledge.
In literature, it is said that stairs symbolize a passage from one form of existence into another. In dream interpretation, descending a flight of stairs would mean going into one’s deeper self.
These different symbols show that staircases should actually be given a lot more importance than usual, something that you could apply when thinking about a unique design as opposed to the traditional styles used.
Designing Your Stairs Differently
Having stairs put into your home usually meant having to choose between what paint should be used.
Should it still appear like natural wood? Would you like the sides open, or closed?
There is also that usually difficult task of choosing what kind of balusters to use, although some would just be content with plain panels under their handrails.
These seem like tough enough design choices, considering that they are ‘just’ a set of stairs, right?
For other people however, their design choices when it comes to their stairs are a lot more radical than what most people are used to.
It could be integrating additional storage options into your home, discreetly hidden within your staircase. It could be interesting shapes added onto each step.
It could also be a few fun aspects, such as an option to slide down instead of using the steps once again in descending from one level to another. You could allow your stairs to shed interesting shadows on the floor, or you could have it doubling as something else like display cases.
No matter what interesting addition you choose to have, the entire aspect of creating and designing stairs for any structure just became more interesting.
This is exactly what some contemporary designers want to show, giving some of their creations intricate details that make these sets of stairs not only more aesthetically appealing, but more functional as well. Here are some of them:
Stairs inside a bookstore in Portugal
Near Rajasthan, India
Law Library, Des Moines, Iowa
Musée National Gustave Moreau (Museum in Paris, France)
Stairs Into The Clouds (Pico do Arieiro, Madeira Island, Portugal)
Glow in the Dark Painted Stairs
The Rock of Guatapé, Colombia
UN City interior stairs in Denmark
Prabalgad Fort dating from around 1458. Carved out of the rock at an an elevation of 2,300 feet. Maharashtra, India.
“In the Eye of the Basilisk” by Lucas Portee
Spiral Staircase at the Library of the Dutch Parliament
Ribbon Chapel, Hiroshima
Beautiful Wooden Staircase with matching Wooden Spiral Art
Internal stairs, Sint-Pieters-Leeuw Tower
Winding Staircase inside a Light House
At the Garden of Cosmic Speculation, Dumfries, Scotland
Wooden Spiral Staircase
Stairs at Huashan, Shaanxi, China
Colorful mosaic stairway in Goldengate Heights, San Francisco, CA
Crazy Stairs at ‘The Red Wall’
Double Spiral stairs in Graz, Austria
Mission Inn in Riverside, California
Tourist Stairway – Huangshan Mountain, China
Brigham Young University
Stairs next to the Leshan Giant Buddha
Staircase at The University of Utah
Stairs at The School of Arts – Tétrarc Architects
Medieval Staircase in Portugal
Wooden Horse Stair Rail
The Haiku Stairs in Oahu, Hawaii
Minimal Stairs in Portugal
St. Petersburg, Russia
Crazy stone stairs in Laos
Books as actual stairs
Penthouse stairs in Tel Aviv
Reclaimed Wood Stairs
300 ft spiral staircase in China
Black Stairs in a White Loft
Flooded stairs at Luang Prabang, Laos
Rookery Staircase by Raf Winterpacht
Folded steel “origami” stairs by Bell Phillips
Heaven’s Stairs, Tian Men Shan China
Huayna Picchu, Machu Picchu, Peru
SDM Apartment / Arquitectura en Movimiento Workshop
Sculpture by David McCracken
SoHo, New York
Lake Braies, Italy