Ten bold residential staircases designed by architects

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From the huge stairs that run over the height of the house to the flight of stairs that you can’t step on at all, here’s a summary of 10 statement residential staircase designs from the Dezeen archive.

Stairs are an architectural feature that can really get a lot of attention and often cause a fuss among Dezeen commenters.

Here are 10 examples that show that there are far more possibilities than a simple route between floors.


Photo courtesy of Archipelago Architects Studio

Kappa House, Japan, Archipelago Architects Studio

Three sets of central staircases, finished in greenish-blue resin, divide the interior space of this house in Kanagawa Prefecture, designed by Archipelago Architects Studio.

The stairs on the top floor extend to the ceiling and provide a place to sit, eat, drink and read. The studio said it was aimed at “questioning the stereotypes of stairs, which normally serve as a fixed purpose that only moves up and down.”

Learn more about Kappa House›


House of stairs by clay
Photo courtesy of clay

House of stairs, Japan, clay

Designed by Nendo, Tokyo’s well-named staircase house is dominated by a huge throat staircase that runs from the backyard through its glass-enclosed facade to the roof.

Inside the building are a small cat playroom, bathroom facilities, and the actual stairs that can be used to access the upper floors of the house.

Learn more about staircase houses›


Winding stairs
The photo is Toshinori Fujimoto

Akizu’s house by Toshinori Fujimoto Architect & Associates

Designed by Toshinori Fujimoto Architect & Associates, this unprotected cast concrete staircase spirals between the alcove of a solemn seaside house in Hiroshima Prefecture.

“The thickness of the supporting slab is invisible from its outer and inner edges and is designed to avoid the need for a central strut,” the studio said.

Learn more about Akitsu’s house›


Escher's house stairs
Photo by Ronan Mézière

Escher House in Canada by Naturehumaine

Inspired by the paintings of artist MC Escher’s Trompe-l’oeil, the angular steel staircase crosses this Montreal mansion, renovated by Nature Fmain.

“All the space in the house is organized around the stairs that are central to the project,” said the studio.

Learn more about Escher House›


Takatsuki's house by Tato Architects bedroom
The photo is Shinken Chusha

Takatsuki’s house, by Tato Architects

Tato Architects has divided this small three-story house in Osaka into different floors above the 16th floor to make it feel bigger.

There are no traditional stairs between the gently spiral platforms. Instead, residents walk on wooden blocks, shelves, and other furniture and move between different levels.

Learn more about Takatsuki’s house›


Farleigh Road refurbishment and expansion stair tread by Paolo Cossu Architects
Photo by Lorenzo Zandri

By Farley Road, UK, Paolocos Architects

Designed by Paolo Cossu Architects, this refurbished East London terraced house’s very large oak staircase doubles as a place to sit and read, using two different sized treads.

The oversized main volume, which feels like a set of bleach, matches the bookshelves on the adjacent wall, with additional wooden blocks added to define a walking route along only one side.

Learn more about Farley Road›


Spiral staircase of the Tommyland family in Denmark
Photo by Mia Mortensen

Tommy Land’s House, Denmark, by Tommy Land

Tommy Land, a Danish architect and developer, built a house for himself and his family on the outskirts of the city of Aarhus, Denmark.

In the center is a spiral staircase made of 630 computer-cut plywood. These plywoods are hand-stitched and glued in the field for maximum accuracy.

Learn more about Tommyland’s house›


Isla Lebe by Guillermo Acuña
Photo by Cristobal Palma

Isla Lebe, Chile, by Guillermo Acuña

Chilean architect Guillermo Acuña has added a wide, unprotected wooden staircase to the old boathouse as part of this villa on the secluded peninsula of Isla Lebe.

The trapezoidal staircase not only connects the two terraces, but also acts as an elevated seat, overlooking the view surrounding the cliff.

Learn more about Isla Lebe›


Beta Ø Architects X House
Photo by Imagen Subliminal / David Zarzoso

By X House, Spain, BetaØArchitects

Designed by the Spanish studio BetaØArchitects, the black metal “stairs” in the center of this Madrid house are designed to be unstepped.

It’s actually a giant sculpture made up of staggered rectangular frames, inserted into voids to allow air and natural light to flow through the interior of the house.

Learn more about X House›


Sturlasgade Apartment Copenhagen by JAC Studios
Photo by Karina Tengberg

Sturlasgade, Denmark by Jac Studios

Smoke oak stairs suspended from steel poles join the tapered terrazzo staircase flight in this Copenhagen apartment overhauled by local practice Jac Studios.

“The high-rise staircase with a lightweight steel structure is suspended from the first floor, giving it a feeling of buoyancy and a clean form,” said the studio.

Find out more about Sturlasgade›

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