Collection by Dwell

A Look at Staircases

Whether you're going up or going down, an artfully constructed staircase never takes you in the wrong direction. Take a look at some of our favorite examples, taken from our photo library from issues past.

Mikulionis custom designed the white steel staircase that leads from the living area up to the bedroom platform.
Mikulionis custom designed the white steel staircase that leads from the living area up to the bedroom platform.
Yeo descends the spiral staircase that connects the public and private spaces while Ian relaxes on a pair of Cappellini Superlight 750 sofas designed by Barber Osgerby. The Gwapa lounge chair and ottoman in the corner were designed by Marcel Wanders.
Yeo descends the spiral staircase that connects the public and private spaces while Ian relaxes on a pair of Cappellini Superlight 750 sofas designed by Barber Osgerby. The Gwapa lounge chair and ottoman in the corner were designed by Marcel Wanders.
There wasn’t enough room for a conventional stairway to the roof deck, so Pratt chose an industrial model from Lapeyre Stair (www.lapeyrestair.com), a New Orleans–based manufacturer. Its alter-nating tread design makes walking up a cinch—even for Beck’s Lab mix, Little Bear. Beck recalls that when he told the company he wanted a stairway for his home, they weren’t interested in selling 

to him. But he persevered and called back the next day and said he needed it for 

his warehouse, and the order went right through. Beck became accustomed to the difficulty of categorizing the building as either residential or commercial: Inspectors treated it as a home for some parts of the building code and as a workplace for others.
There wasn’t enough room for a conventional stairway to the roof deck, so Pratt chose an industrial model from Lapeyre Stair (www.lapeyrestair.com), a New Orleans–based manufacturer. Its alter-nating tread design makes walking up a cinch—even for Beck’s Lab mix, Little Bear. Beck recalls that when he told the company he wanted a stairway for his home, they weren’t interested in selling to him. But he persevered and called back the next day and said he needed it for his warehouse, and the order went right through. Beck became accustomed to the difficulty of categorizing the building as either residential or commercial: Inspectors treated it as a home for some parts of the building code and as a workplace for others.
“The stair [by Lapeyre Stair] is very cost-effective, as compared to building woodwork,” Woo explains. “It occupies very little space, and you can come down without holding the rail.” Of the small gap that reveals the kitchen, he says, “That’s very important, to give a sense of continuous space.”
“The stair [by Lapeyre Stair] is very cost-effective, as compared to building woodwork,” Woo explains. “It occupies very little space, and you can come down without holding the rail.” Of the small gap that reveals the kitchen, he says, “That’s very important, to give a sense of continuous space.”
The stairway to the sleeping loft is a riff on a ship's ladder: "We spent a lot of time figuring out how much space we need to maneuver," says David. "It allowed us to make it as small and perfect as we wanted to." Instead of a handrail, sail cleats are bolted to the walls as hand-holds.
The stairway to the sleeping loft is a riff on a ship's ladder: "We spent a lot of time figuring out how much space we need to maneuver," says David. "It allowed us to make it as small and perfect as we wanted to." Instead of a handrail, sail cleats are bolted to the walls as hand-holds.
The home’s entryway features fly-ash concrete floors and stairs cut from recycled steel.
The home’s entryway features fly-ash concrete floors and stairs cut from recycled steel.
The stairs feature a geometric pattern of holes generated by a software script that allows rain to slip through to the lake below.
The stairs feature a geometric pattern of holes generated by a software script that allows rain to slip through to the lake below.
Still life with IKEA lampshade and ventless fireplace. The unfinished, black, welded-steel railing borders steps made of framing lumber, which emit a friendly, old-fashioned creak as Walz treads up and down.
Still life with IKEA lampshade and ventless fireplace. The unfinished, black, welded-steel railing borders steps made of framing lumber, which emit a friendly, old-fashioned creak as Walz treads up and down.
For the banisters and railings around the reading loft, Miro and Weiss selected aluminum-magnesium Speed-Rail. They liked the “inexpensive industrial” look it provided, explains Miro, and that it seemed “smooth, sturdy, and honest.” The system consists of lengths of pipe and prefabricated brackets that simply slip together and tighten with set screws. www.hollaender.com
For the banisters and railings around the reading loft, Miro and Weiss selected aluminum-magnesium Speed-Rail. They liked the “inexpensive industrial” look it provided, explains Miro, and that it seemed “smooth, sturdy, and honest.” The system consists of lengths of pipe and prefabricated brackets that simply slip together and tighten with set screws. www.hollaender.com
The stairs going up the knoll to the roof garden and to the house’s second-level entrance are made from Cor-Ten steel risers (which develop a rich, rusted patina) and filled with gravel in order to create a nonslip surface that drains well. Steel and steelwork by Virginia Industrial.
The stairs going up the knoll to the roof garden and to the house’s second-level entrance are made from Cor-Ten steel risers (which develop a rich, rusted patina) and filled with gravel in order to create a nonslip surface that drains well. Steel and steelwork by Virginia Industrial.
A built-in sofa with Design Tex upholstery marks the boundary between the two-level addition and the bungalow. Leading up to the master bedroom, a perforated metal staircase, lit from above, casts a Sigmar Polke–like shadow grid on the concrete floor.
A built-in sofa with Design Tex upholstery marks the boundary between the two-level addition and the bungalow. Leading up to the master bedroom, a perforated metal staircase, lit from above, casts a Sigmar Polke–like shadow grid on the concrete floor.