Stunning staircases: 6 examples of amazing staircase design

From a staircase made of books to a sweeping marble structure, we look at 6 examples of amazing staircase design.

From hotels to galleries, offices to personal homes, staircases often occupy the most prominent positions in our spaces. A beautiful staircase can even be considered the architectural centrepiece of a project, moving far beyond its original, functional purpose.

There is plenty for architects to consider when they are designing staircases – the structures need to be practical and safe, as well as having style. Whether the end result is a modern staircase; an innovative structure; or a traditional, elegant stairway, a statement staircase can change the atmosphere of a room and bring a project to life.

In celebration of these stunning staircases, we’ve chosen 6 examples that we think show a range of amazing staircase design:

Ottowa Art Gallery, Ottowa, Canada

Architects: KPMB Architects & Regis Cote et Associes

The Ottowa Art Gallery (OAG) opened as part of a longstanding vision for the revitalisation of downtown Ottowa, the capital city of Canada. The development was created to raise the profile of the Arts Court, making it the city’s downtown arts centre – complete with renovated spaces that provide local artists and arts organisations with modern facilities.

Image: Adrien Williams

Designed by KPMB with support from Regis Cote et Associes, a pristine, floating staircase lies at the heart of the OAG. This ethereal element of the gallery has a white surface, which contrasts against the wooden ceiling panels of the OAG’s lobby, and the stone walls of the heritage building connected to the new Gallery. Bordering the unique staircase are sophisticated lighting fixtures, which lead visitors up through the Gallery’s five floors.

The William Vale, New York, USA

Designer: Studio Munge

A boutique, independent hotel in Brooklyn, The William Vale is home to a sophisticated white marble staircase. Situated in the Foyer, the hotel’s lower-level event room, the Italian marble floating staircase opens up into the lobby, and is reminiscent of the area’s industrial past. The contemporary staircase features a locally crafted metal handrail, and sits in front of whitewashed wooden walls.

Image: Maxime Bocken

Discussing the staircase, Studio Munge said, “Emotive and dynamic, staircases are some of our favorite transitional spaces. At The William Vale, we wanted this functional element to become a destination and a most exciting feature connecting the lobby lounge to the lower level pre-function space. In a perfect symmetry, the marble steps cascade and create a graphic frame within which the site specific artwork - Mannahatta by Marela Zacarías, can organically evolve across two floors.”

The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Florida, USA

Architect: Piero Lissoni

Nestled on Mid Miami Beach, the Ritz-Carlton Residences have been designed by renowned architect, Piero Lissoni. Blurring the interior and exterior spaces, each of the minimalist residences has been individually designed by Lissoni to be welcoming, and to enhance each guest’s emotional response to their surroundings.

In the Residences’ main lobby, Lissoni has also designed a sweeping staircase to act as the space’s main focal point. The structure has been designed to mimic the natural flow of the nearby Atlantic Ocean, as well as the property’s waterfront at Surprise Lake. Combined with the European design style of the residences, the staircase creates an aesthetic that is set apart from the typical style found in Miami.

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