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16 Stunning Staircases: Sweeping us off our Soles

Posted by
on April 20, 2015 at 02:44 PM

Staircases are meant to lead you to another place or another level. But what if this gains a higher metaphorical meaning? What if the journey is as attractive, if not more, as the final destination? Well, you need to stop and look, and appreciate what you see on your way! Staircases have always been used as sculptural or ornamental elements wherever the spatial arrangement allows for this. But, some of them are designed to travel well beyond this modest intention, to shock or surprise, or maybe pique your curiosity. Haven’t we all, as kids, related to stairs as the most interesting elements of play among all built spaces around us? Here's a look at some stairways, on TFOD and elsewhere - designed more as experiences, rather than as utilitarian building elements! 

© Courtesy of Nisha Vikram, Ahmedabad

A Colourful Promise: image 1

In the midst of the surrounding grey concrete, this bright red flight of stairs designed by Khosla Associates for DPS, Bangalore seems to hold a promise of colour beckoning the children to take the stairs to go up and discover more cheer.

Central Relief: image 2

A batch of four solid steps leading up to an otta with planters, and then a continuation of the flight in a wrought iron ladder style with stone treads – this staircase in Gaurav Roy Chaudhury’s design offers relief by bringing down the feel of the aangan or terrace into the centre of the house within a constrained space.

An Eco commitment: image 3

This flight of stairs in a cottage of the Gorukana Eco Tourism Resort, designed by Gayathri and Namith Architects, leads up to the loft beds. Other than the indigenous technology and materials used for this, the stairway stands out for the skeletal handrail design.

Arched Over: image 4

This staircase design in Planet 3 Studios’ project for the Vidyalankar Institute, where they retrofit an existing industrial facility to adapt it for a coaching institute, fits in truly with the unabashed postmodern grammar used for the entire scheme. The randomly fitted vertical steel bars of various lengths along the handrail arch over from either side over the wide wooden stairs making it an industrialised version of a tree lined, shaded, woody pathway.

Funky and Playful: image 5,6,7

Those are the two words that come to mind while describing what TFODian Preetham D’Souza creates for staircase design – a cello, a kayak and a string of...wait... nail cutters?? It’s difficult to get more playful than that! These brightly coloured fancily shaped stairs are sure to delight the child in each of us.

Bridge across the Well: image 8

Bridging two ends of a circular stairwell while simultaneously connecting two levels, this stairway at IBM’s Bangalore office designed by Gayathri and Namith Architects doubles up as a bridge. Notable again, is the view from the top where the bridge metaphor is enhanced by the water-like blue glazed ceramic tiles at the bottom of this well across which this bridge spans out.

Arty Surrounds: image 9

Who wouldn’t like to linger on the way up with such artistic surroundings enticing you during the climb? Artistically designed stairwell walls attract during one’s ascent in the projects by Gaurav Roy Chaudhury.


A Mediterranean Wrap: image 11

In a scenic white and wood Mediterranean style villa by Gayathri and Namith, the limelight is hogged by this stairway which goes around a lighted, tree lined courtyard in a graceful wrap.

Riding the Waves: image 12

These skilfully arranged waves of timber form a beautiful flowing stairway. The ascent should be a breezy wave ride!

The Helix: image 13

This spiral beauty is made special by the absence of a central pole to anchor it. By that account it’s a helical staircase, but stacked up closely like a spiral. The petal shaped treads enhance its beauty, fanning out like a pretty flower in plan view.

Illusion in Colour: image 14

Red, White and Gold in a galaxy of large orbs create a psychedelic illusion along this stairway, as though sucking one up the intriguing ascent. This design qualifies as a beautiful experiment in staircase decoration.


Infinity Staircase: image 15

This artistic stairway leading to nowhere habitually features on the top 10 lists of the world’s most beautiful staircases. It was designed by Olafur Eliasson as a street sculpture for KPMG Munich.

Art embellishing Space : Cover Photo

With Nisha Vikram, the staircase takes on a whole new life - as a work of art! She works with various artisan communities, creating customized wall murals - translating traditional crafts to contemporary spaces. 

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