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Multifunctional Stairs: 9 Options to Take Advantage of Vertical Circulation Space

Multifunctional Stairs: 9 Options to Take Advantage of Vertical Circulation Space

On other occasions, we have written about how to design stairs and calculate their dimensions. We have also collected references from Portuguese projects that demonstrate the versatility of wooden staircases. Today, we present some of our best examples highlighting the multifunctional potential of staircases in interior spaces.

Casa AT / Estudio ODS. Image © Ricardo Santos Reforma de um sótão em Paris / 05 AM Arquitectura. Image © David Foessel Casa GD / Esquissos - Arquitectura e Consultoria. Image © Ivo Tavares Studio MKR Store / Vásquez Consuegra. Image © Fernando Alda + 17

Whether they separate rooms, add extra storage space, or hold a play area for pets, stairs long ago ceased to be just an element that facilitated vertical circulation. Check 9 ideas that will stimulate your creativity and explore the possibilities regarding the value that a staircase can add to your project.

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Storage Cellar

The Casa REX, designed by FGMF Arquitetos, features a staircase that also functions as a warehouse, allowing its employees to keep orders stock for delivery in an accessible and organized way.

CASA REX / FGMF Arquitetos. Image © Rafaela Netto
CASA REX / FGMF Arquitetos. Image © Rafaela Netto

Some sections of the wooden stairs are located parallel to a 70-square-meter shelf, made up of stacked pieces of precast concrete.

Closed Storage

The staircase designed by the Rafael Schmid Architekten office for the Lucciola House Renovation doubles as a closed cabinet set with the same finish as the kitchen furniture, creating a uniquely integrated interior environment.

Casa Lucciola Renovation / Rafael Schmid Architekten. Image © Rafael Schmid
Casa Lucciola Renovation / Rafael Schmid Architekten. Image © Rafael Schmid

Open Niches

Unlike the previous example, the central element of the AT House, designed by Estudio ODS, is the staircase itself. The bottom part of the staircase doubles as a shelf with open niches in the middle of the living room. This set was executed with a 27 mm thick structural wood panel.

Casa AT / Estudio ODS. Image © Ricardo Santos
Casa AT / Estudio ODS. Image © Ricardo Santos

Exhibition of Objects

Designed in the "void" of the staircase, this type of furniture can hold a number of different items. In the case of the Gêmeas House, designed by Zoom Urbanismo Arquitetura e Diseño, it is used to showcase a collection of miniature chairs. It also includes open coffee and storage niches, mixed with closed cabinets.

Casas Gêmeas / Zoom Urbanismo Arquitetura e Design. Image © Maíra Acayaba
Casas Gêmeas / Zoom Urbanismo Arquitetura e Design. Image © Maíra Acayaba

Internal Division

In the project for the Alameda Restaurant developed in a partnership between the Biselli Katchborian Arquitetos and Zanatta Figueiredo offices, the central staircase organizes the space by functioning as a translucent partition (which also functions as a "lantern") between two rows of high tables and stools.

Restaurante Alameda – Esporte Clube Pinheiros / Biselli Katchborian Arquitetos + Zanatta Figueiredo. Image © Nelson Kon
Restaurante Alameda – Esporte Clube Pinheiros / Biselli Katchborian Arquitetos + Zanatta Figueiredo. Image © Nelson Kon
Reforma de um sótão em Paris / 05 AM Arquitectura. Image © David Foessel
Reforma de um sótão em Paris / 05 AM Arquitectura. Image © David Foessel

Similarly, the staircase of the Attic Reform in Paris, signed by the 05 AM Arquitectura office, is configured in two different ways on each floor: on the first floor it is a permeable partition, and on the second it becomes a delimiting element. This transition works because of the space between the wooden slats, which narrows as the steps go up. Upstairs, the stairway can also double as seating and storage.

Reforma de um sótão em Paris / 05 AM Arquitectura. Image © David Foessel
Reforma de um sótão em Paris / 05 AM Arquitectura. Image © David Foessel

Sculptural Element

Stairs are, in themselves, striking elements in the middle of a space. Whether they are simple or sophisticated, it is quite common for them to be highlighted in an interior space. With this in mind, the architects at the Vásquez Consuegra office designed a 100% silver metal staircase that draws the eyes of visitors to the MKR Store, in the same way that a sculpture in a museum does.

MKR Store / Vásquez Consuegra. Image © Fernando Alda
MKR Store / Vásquez Consuegra. Image © Fernando Alda

Its helical shape appears like a giant screw, creating an axis of rotation that facilitates the articulation of the different floors.

MKR Store / Vásquez Consuegra. Image Cortesia de Vásquez Consuegra
MKR Store / Vásquez Consuegra. Image Cortesia de Vásquez Consuegra

Cat Playground

KC Design Studio has designed a very interesting space for the pets that inhabit the Cats' Pink House, using the element of the staircase to create a new topography for the interior space.

Casa rosada dos gatos / KC Design Studio. Image © Hey! Cheese
Casa rosada dos gatos / KC Design Studio. Image © Hey! Cheese

The feline-designed staircase uses the same color and materiality as the office desk, allowing the human resident to remain connected with their cats while working (those with pets at home can imagine how interesting this can be).

Casa rosada dos gatos / KC Design Studio. Image © Hey! Cheese
Casa rosada dos gatos / KC Design Studio. Image © Hey! Cheese

Collective Seats

The Royal FIC headquarters, designed by architects Eduardo Borges Barcellos + Garoa, includes a large central staircase that can be an alternative space for work or informal meetings. It also allows the company to gather more people for meetings, acting as a potential auditorium.

Sede Royal FIC / Eduardo Borges Barcellos + Grupo Garoa. Image © Pedro Napolitano Prata
Sede Royal FIC / Eduardo Borges Barcellos + Grupo Garoa. Image © Pedro Napolitano Prata

Bicycle Parking

The use of alternative vehicles is becoming more frequent in large cities: bicycles and scooters are the most popular today. Thus, it may be interesting to use the space underneath the staircase near the front door as a parking lot. The architects of Esquissos - Arquitectura e Consultoria had this brilliant idea when they designed the GD House.

Casa GD / Esquissos - Arquitectura e Consultoria. Image © Ivo Tavares Studio
Casa GD / Esquissos - Arquitectura e Consultoria. Image © Ivo Tavares Studio

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About this author
Cite: Migliani, Audrey. "Multifunctional Stairs: 9 Options to Take Advantage of Vertical Circulation Space" [Escadas multifuncionais: 9 opções para aproveitar o espaço de circulação vertical] 18 May 2020. ArchDaily. (Trans. Franco, José Tomás) Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/939126/multifunctional-stairs-9-options-to-take-advantage-of-vertical-circulation-space/> ISSN 0719-8884
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Casa rosada dos gatos / KC Design Studio. Image © Hey! Cheese

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