The Rise of the Irresistible Stair

In recent years, architects and designers have come to understand the importance of the staircase as a medium for increasing public health and wellbeing. Along with the required code and safety issues that all designers must follow when designing stairs for a building, there is a new rule in town when it comes to stair design — it must be irresistibly fabulous.

The Original Irresistible

The “Irresistible Stair” concept is actually a throwback to a time before elevators were prevalent — a time when stairs were the primary mode of transportation between floors. During this period, the stair was celebrated as a design feature and usually took front and center stage in the entry of a building.

victorian staircase

The Ritz Paris newly renovated staircase via Andreas Meichsner for The New York Times
This kind of stair was a place to see and be seen. It was an integral part of the user experience of the building. Stairs of this time often cascaded from one floor to the next creating a grand spiral that was in itself a work of art when viewed from below. This was the kind of stair that begged to be taken and promised to take its users on a journey whilst providing a service. It was irresistible.  spiral stair

The Ritz Paris newly renovated staircase via Andreas Meichsner for The New York Times
With the invention of the elevator and high rise buildings, the Irresistible Stair fell to the wayside and the elevator became the preferred method of travel between floors. This became the new, cool user experience and elevator design was all the rage.

modern marble elevator

via Fogarty Finger Architecture
Up until recently, elevators remained the primary mode of transit for many building users. Even for short trips from the first to second level of a building, people would pile into elevators for a quick, convenient, and lets face it, usually awkward mode of transportation.

The Important Irresistible

While the elevator remains a constant and necessary feature of most buildings,  today’s designers and staircase manufacturers understand the need to provide stairs that entice building occupants into using them. According to the EPA, humans spend approximately 90% of our day indoors. This statistic, coupled with the fact that obesity, heart disease, and other health issues are on the rise, charge designers to find new ways to get building occupants moving.

There is also an environmental impact associated with opting to take the stairs rather than the elevator. Increased stair usage means decreased elevator electricity usage. Sustainable design means fabulous stair design, plain and simple.

The New Irresistible

Today, armed with a new found sense of responsibility for public and environmental health, designers are opting to bring the staircase back to its former glory. The new and cutting edge Irresistible Stair is changing the paradigm for people thinking of modern staircases UK or Europe. European building codes allow for much more interesting and extreme stair forms than would be allowed here in the US. However, US residential codes allow home owners to get away with a lot more in a home stair, so check these out and get inspired!

floating stair
A Floating Stair via ArchDaily

An interesting railing via beppe brancato
spiral stair

Petal-like stairs via DesignMilk

black and white stair tile

Black and White Tile Stair via Sarah Akwisombe | Interior design and styling




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